Friday, May 23, 2014

Rescuing ducklings

Recent stories in the news about rescuing ducklings brought back memories of ducklings crossing Nichols Street in Danvers when I was young.  Wood ducks nested in a box at the little pond by our house, and one spring we had the priviledge of watching as the mother duck called her babies out of that box. One by one they climbed over the edge and dropped into the water beside her and began swimming around. We were so happy to see a whole family of wood ducks in our pond!  But soon our joy turned to concern. That mother duck led them out of the water and started to cross Nichols Street. Oops.  We ran from the house and positioned ourselves along the road to wave cars down, making them stop for the ducklings. We were successful, mostly.  The mother duck and her brood waddled away, down along a small steam that led to a larger pond to the southeast. My mother explained that instincts probably drove her to seek a larger body of water. We wished, however, that she had chosen to stay in our safer pond, which lacked snapping turtles.  The next day we heard a frantic peeping at the pond. Sadly, one little duckling had been overlooked, and left behind.  Again, we wished the duck family had stayed in our pond.

Recent news stories:
In 2012 I wrote about watching a wood duck family emerge from the nesting box. It was a school morning, with the added drama that I might miss the school bus if I stayed to watch ducklings. My mother's suggestion worked, and the bus driver brought the bus to our house, so all the kids could watch!

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