Kylie Brown, a 6-year-old from Freeport, Maine, and her friendship with a duck has become a viral sensation. CBS News first reported on Kylie’s relationship with a duck named Snowflake in 2016. Since then, the network’s follow-up report in March 2019 showed that the pair’s relationship has gotten even stronger.
In 2016, Kylie declared to CBS’ Steve Hartman, “I’m his mom.” When Hartman replied, “Well, you’re not really his mom.” Kylie said, “Yep, I’m his mom.” That interview descended into chaos at the 40-second mark when Hartman begins to ask, “When did you first find out…” At which point, Kylie cuts him off saying, “That he was a duck?” This results in Hartman giggling to a stage that he can’t recover from. At the time of writing, that video has been viewed on CBS’ website more than 10 million times.
Hartman reported in 2016 that when Snowflake could not be trained to remain in the Brown’s yard, he was given a diaper and made into a house duck. Mike Brown, Kylie’s father, told CBS News, “He goes everywhere that ducks are allowed and almost everywhere they’re not allowed.”
The updated piece also mentions that Kylie regularly takes Snowflake to swim in the pond at their local park and that he returns home with the family, Kylie has a younger sister, Avery, when they’re ready to leave. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a 2-year-old or a 4-year-old that wouldn’t leave home without its blankie — she would not leave home without her duck. And at that point, nothing is negotiable… It’s special, even at 5 years old, that I know that that’s the type of person she’s going to be.” Mike said that Snowflake was a presence when the family went on vacation to Florida in the summer and gone sledding with his kids in the winter. On one Halloween, Snowflake accompanied Kylie while dressed as Olaf from “Frozen.”
In March 2017, Kylie and Snowflake gained further national attention when they appeared on Steve Harvey’s “Little Big Shots” on NBC. At that time, Mike Brown told the Portland Press Herald, “Right from the beginning, it has been more exciting for us as her parents than for Kylie. She’s still young and doesn’t realize how important all this is.”
The Press Herald report mentions how Snowflake came to be a part of the Brown family. One of Mike Brown’s co-workers got three ducklings from a hatchery and gave one to the Brown family. Snowflake’s attachment to Kylie was instant, the family told the newspaper. Mike said, “When we got home, we went into the bathroom and Snowflake just jumped on Kylie. Snowflake imprinted on her. The duck believes that Kylie is its mother.”
In 2019, CBS News reported that Kylie had signed Snowflake up to be a therapy duck. The Press Herald reports that Kylie and Snowflake regularly go to a nearby assisted-living to entertain the residents. On another occasion, Snowflake was granted a dispensation from his ban from school buildings for an assembly to honor Kylie’s kindness to animals.