Momma Duck PDF Print E-mail
Written by Adam (Vergil)   
Monday, 13 June 2005
A tale of an unusual morning.

So this morning has gotten off to a really odd start.  First, I get up and it’s raining.  Remembering that I have yet to purchase an umbrella (or an employee permit for my car), I curse to myself. I hate biking in the rain.  I’d almost rather walk except that would require me to leave the extra thirty minutes or more earlier in order to make it to work on time.  On my way to work, biking in the rain, I find out that the intersection of Hagadorn and Grand River has finished updating their pedestrian walk signals to ones that as they turn to “don’t walk” they give you a count down timer as to how long before they stop flashing.  While a novel idea, it was still odd to behold.

Then, as I am almost to work, it turns out the expanding on the Vet Med building suddenly requires more sidewalk than it has in the past few weeks.  I suddenly find myself needing to veer my bike into the road, dodging a car in the process.  As I try to roll back on to the side walk, I end up riding up a drive way-like thing that has no curve to it; it just pops right out of the ground.  As my bike nails it, my chain falls loose and twists.  As we speak my bike is in a state of disrepair, parked at a bike rack, potentially un-usable until I get it to a shop.

So I started walking my bike to work, the rain starting to increase, when I pass by a young woman standing under a tree. She seems to be focusing on something, specifically a female duck wondering around in the road.  I watch in horror as cars come towards the duck and the duck bravely charges the cars.  Thankfully the drivers stop and the young woman is able to trick the duck into coming out of the road.

When I ask her what is going on, she explains that the duck’s children, about seven very small ducklings, somehow fell down one of the drain grates on the curb.  The holes in the grate were indeed large enough for ducklings, but much much much too small for the momma duck to do anything about it.  Not sure what to do, the duck had begun circling the grate to protect her young, considering myself, the young woman, and any on coming traffic as potential threats to her children.

I decided to put down my kick-stand and help the young woman watch the duck.  We chased it around with a stick and talked to it to try and keep it out of the road while we waited for help to arrive.  One young man said he could get a pan and a rope from a lab in the plant bio building and went inside to get it.  Apparently someone had also called grounds keeping before I got there as well.

Finally a Policeman drove up in his Police-SUV and parked it in front of the drain grate, forcing traffic around and away from it.  At this point the mother duck had be frightened off by a truck that almost hit her so she was flying circles over head instead of watching the grate.  The police man told us that the Department of Public Safety pest control squad was coming in and that they had the proper equipment for the job, sending our friend with the pan and the string back inside.  Sure enough, the pest guys came with a net, they fished out all seven ducklings in one swoop, and carried them out of the drain.

There was some discussion as to what to do now to ensure the ducklings didn’t end up in a drain again.  Then we realized that the duck was probably not from the red cedar river, which was two blocks north of us.  Rather, she was probably from a nearby pond.  Electing that to be the case, we released the ducklings on the grass and waited for the mother to reunite with them.  The mother seemed much more relaxed and stood with her ducklings for a few moments before leading them on around the plant bio building.

Satisfied with our work, we all went our separate ways.  I walked my bike into its bike rack and saw the strange sight of a person knocking on a door that read “Restricted Access” before I finally sat down at my computer terminal to work. I don’t normally think it appropriate to bore this site with tales of my day-to-day life, but I thought this tale of ducks and rain drains would amuse you (Kitty especially).
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 July 2005 )
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