Amanda Troia, a 16-year-old from Fraser, Mich., is praying Santa Claus will come in the guise of a judge and let her keep her eight pet ducks.
The teenager and her mother, Sylvia, are taking the matter to court because they believe city officials should allow the birds to remain in their home, the Mount Clemons Macomb Daily reported.
"I just don't understand it," said Sylvia Troia, as she fought off tears. "People think these are just ducks, but they are part of our family."
She said she received a court notice several days ago requiring her appearance before Judge Catherine Steenland on charges of harboring livestock. She said her neighbors complained to officials the ducks attract rats.
"That makes no sense to me at all," she said. "The ducks have their own coop. It's cleaned regularly and I've never seen any rats around them. Why would rats be attracted to ducks?"
The duck clan grew from a pair presented to Amanda by her grandparents in 1997. "I loved them as soon as I saw them," Amanda said. "I started researching them as quick as I could. I'd never had pets like these before."