Wednesday, June 01, 2011
here's the story...
of a lovely ducky!
Monday night the family went on a bike ride down to the lake. We climbed out on the rocks next to the flooded docks and the kids had fun being rock monkeys and tossing rocks in the lake, while David and I enjoyed the view. On our way back, Zion noticed a lone duckling swimming along the side of the river. The bank was higher in this part than in other areas, so there was a fair distance between us and the duckling. We watched it for several minutes, hoping its duck family was nearby, but no other ducks were in view, and we hadn't seen any other ducklings along the trail. The kids, especially Noodle, really wanted to try and get it, but we discouraged it, and David said, "You want that duckling, you need to pick two pets to get rid of." We end up deciding that we probably can't help it, and we head home. The entire way, though, I was thinking about the little duck and how I want the kids to WANT to help others, whether little creatures or other people, and how if we DID help the duckling, this would be something they'd remember for years. And they'd also remember it, and worry about it, if we did nothing.
So after we returned home, I snuck back outside with a little plastic cage and a butterfly net. I wasn't able to find a working flashlight, so I figured it was all for naught as the sun had already set and it was quite dark. But I still wanted to try. I rode as fast as I could pedal back to the river trail and back to the area where we'd last seen the duckling. I got off the bike, took my shoes and socks off and rolled up my pants. I listened for its peeps, but didn't hear anything. I chirped, and then heard a response.
I had to wade into water about up to my knees, then climbed on a floating log and walked about six feet along there until I came to some bushes/flooded trees/branches (not sure) in the water. I chirped some more and heard a response out in the branches, out of my reach. I just stood there, peering into the darkness looking for movement and chirping periodically. Finally I saw the little duck swimming towards me. I couldn't reach it though. I kept chirping, and it swam a few feet away, so I stuck out the butterfly net and miraculously caught it! I was so surprised when I pulled the net back and it had something in it! What were the chances!? I also figured if I hadn't caught it that first time, the duckling might have been too spooked to come close to me again, so it was really fortuitous.
I put him in the little plastic critter carrier in my bike basket and headed home.
The kids all had a blast with him (me too!) and we would have kept it if we didn't have so much up in the air right now. We just couldn't commit to another pet right now. Today we took him down to a wildlife rehabilitator who has someone raising 6 or 7 other ducklings so it can join them. It definitely strengthened our desire to get ducks someday, though! So stinkin' cute and fun! I put an album up on facebook, too. You should be able to view it without an account.
At the rehabilitation place, Patti (the rehabilitator) had me help her hold a little flammulated owl with a broken wing while she administered some fluids. It was AWESOME! I am hoping I can figure out a way to volunteer there, as it is what I've wanted to do for YEARS!
P.S. David wasn't very upset...though I think he was relieved that my plan wasn't to keep it!