Sunday, September 7, 2008

Duck Story

A friend e-mailed this story to me and I thought it was an awesome example of human kindness. If you look closely there are actually ten ducklings!:

Something really cute happened in downtown San Antonio this week. Michael R. is now an accounting clerk at Frost Bank and works downtown in a second story office building. Several weeks ago, he watched a mother duck choose the concrete awning outside his window as the unlikely place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The mallard laid nine eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks, and Monday afternoon all of her nine ducklings hatched.
Michael worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching. Tuesday morning, Michael watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off!
The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In his disbelief Michael watched as the first fuzzy newborn toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. Michael couldn't stand to watch this risky effort. He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling was stuporing near its mother from the near fatal fall.
As the second one took the plunge, Michael jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the concrete. Safe and sound, he set it by the momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from its painful leap.
One by one the babies continued to jump. Each time Michael hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. The downtown sidewalk came to a standstill. Time after time, Michael was able to catch the remaining 7 and set them by their approving mother.

At this point Michael realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had 2 full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs, and pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the San Antonio River . The onlooking office secretaries and several San Antonio police officers joined in. They brought an empty copy paper box to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother's approval, and loaded them in the container. Michael held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the San Antonio River . The mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight.

As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping into the river and quacking loudly. At the water's edge, he tipped th e box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to their mother after their adventurous ride.

All nine darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma. Michael said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank bookkeeper, and proudly quacking.

4 comments:

CajunBlu said...

TRUE story ---
WRONG city ---
WRONG information ---

It was Spokane, Washington
Sterling Savings
Spokane River
and JOEL ARMSTRONG
(who, amazingly, caught two at one time)

go to this link to read REAL TRUE story:

http://www.snopes.com/
photos/animals/amazingduck.asp

JEANNE ILLENYE said...

Whoever it was, he should be commended!! I just received an email re this story and it brought tears to my eyes! Fantastic! It's always tough to decide if you should go back to work or jeapordize your job to save these precious new lives and their mama! I've more than a few times lept from my car to aid a mama and her ducklings cross a busy street in spite of honking horns and yelling. Also contacted the police to open a sewer where half of a mama's family of ducklings fell. Whoever saved them, God Bless!!! :o) Jeanne

jalna said...

I agree Jeanne, he's a hero!

Zelly said...

Spokane is the city and it has happened for 3 years running. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/7896407/Duck-Man-catches-five-ducklings-before-they-crash-to-earth.html