Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I didn't have my camera with me at the time, so this is not the duck family I helped, but mama and her babies looked very much like these.
We were traveling down a busy four-lane Monday evening with my spouse's sister and her husband, when suddenly we spotted a small family of mallard ducks. They were in the middle of our lane, close to the median, and still had to cross another two lanes to reach safety. Spouse immediately stopped but cars in the other lanes did not. Actually, I don't think they could see the ducks ahead of them.
I opened the door of our van and jumped out, hoping to usher the ducks safely across and thank goodness, a traffic light at the nearest intersection turned red at the right moment so traffic came to a standstill for a little while. I ran behind the mama duck and her babies, clapping my hands and loudly shooing them into a parking lot away from the street. I'm sure I scared the poor little family, but that was better than the alternative. I didn't like frightening them, but I surely didn't want to watch them be hit by cars.
The mama duck squawked at me all the way and I imagined she was really telling me what she thought about my actions, but that's ok. My only concern was for her family's safety. Two women were crossing the parking lot and laughed when they saw me chasing after the ducks. They remarked how cute the ducklings were and I said they'd been in the center of the street. One woman motioned behind her to a small pond and suggested that was where the mama duck was leading her family. The other woman said she often saw ducks crossing at that location. It's remarkable they're able to get across safely. Maybe other people had also been willing to get out of their vehicles and make fools of themselves in order to assure the duck families remained safe when they crossed the road.

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