Heading to the elementary school to pick up Cayden and Sydney I saw a bus swerve a bit as it came toward me from the other direction. Crossing the street directly in front of me, and the bus, was a mother duck and her fuzzy little ducklings.
Argent used to be a calm street with a few cars every now and then, but due to the addition of many homes, Walmart, Lowes, McDonalds and all the other things I love, Argent is now a steady stream of motor vehicles. There wasn't anyone behind me so I stopped to let the little family cross. Most of the ducklings were in direct line of my tire so if I hadn't stepped on the brakes, well you get the picture. As the mom led her babies across several things happened, cars began to line up behind me (ducks don't waddle very fast) and Anderson began yelling, "Where's your camera Mom, hand me your camera!" (He knows I take that thing with me everywhere for just this type of opportunity.) By the time I dug the camera out of my purse the ducks were safely on the other side of the street and the lady behind me was shooting darts out of her eye sockets. With Anderson spouting off choice words of complaint and me snapping "Anderson, they'll be there when we come back! Where are they going to go, there's a fence up and down the whole side of the street!" we headed on down the road.
Of course this totally reminded me of the book Make Way For Ducklings (I always thought it was Make Way For THE Ducklings) anyway, I never liked that book as a child. It had too many words and all the pictures were brown. But I must not have hated it too much since I now own it and it is the first thing I thought of after seeing the ducks cross the street.
After picking up Cayden and Sydney the ducks were indeed still there. They were headed East down the side of the road along a chain link fence. The fence was put up several months ago due to construction of a new high school. I pulled the car over on the opposite side of the road so the kids could watch the ducks and Anderson could get his photos. Driving 3 miles an hour we watched as the ducks followed their mom. One of the ducklings, probably the runt, kept tripping over either little rocks or his feet and he would land on his back his feet spinning in mid air. Sad, but we thought it was pretty funny. After about 1/2 a mile the Mommy duck stopped and all her little chicks sat down and started chirping. The mom began pacing around, looking this way and that. It was then that it dawned on me, she was trying to take her children to the canal on the other side of the fence. Last time she had babies there wouldn't have been a fence, just a direct route to the water. They were almost there, the end of the fence was about 10 feet away from where they were sitting. In the car the kids and I were shouting, "Keep going! You're almost there!" But the mom looked around a few more minutes and then turned her babies around, back the way they came. There was nothing we could do! We were so sad. The only reassurance I had was that later that day when I drove down the road there was no sign of any dead ducks on the pavement. I can only hope the mom found an opening in the fence, somewhere.
So Sunday my brother Ryan told a similar story only his was far more depressing. On the same day that we saw our little family he was driving across the Blue Bridge. A mother duck was guiding her babies OVER the bridge! There were four babies trying to keep up behind her but sadly, Ryan said there were four little squashed babies behind them. People were slowing down and stopping, shocked at what they were wittnessing but like me, what could they do!? So as you're driving around this Spring be sure and stay alert and make way for ducklings.