Thursday, July 06, 2006

P7030095, originally uploaded by shayze.

The other night, we were on our way to Sublime, a vegan restaurant Shannon had wanted to try out. We had to drop off Shannon's Rx for steroids (for sunburn) at the Walgreens on Federal & 26th (for you locals - between commercial & sunrise) to pick up after we ate. (For you non-locals, federal is one of our major roadways.)

As Balu pulled into 26th, we noticed a family of ducks on the other side of the street, taking up one of the two lanes of west-bound traffic. Luckily, people were swerving into the other lane to avoid them, but the mama and her eight baby ducks seemed intent on crossing over and there was NO WAY they were going to get across in one piece. Or nine.

I stepped out into the road to stop the traffic. One guy whizzed by me. The next car stopped. They honked at me, probably confused as to what I was doing. Then I ushered the ducks across the street and, as the previously stopped-in-the-name-of-ducks SUV driver drove by, she yelled, "Thank you!"

So now we're on the other side of the road and I'm wondering where the heck the ducks are planning on going from here. I ran down the street and saw that the water accessible there was NOT accessible to non-flying baby ducks; there was a ten-foot drop-off. Busy roads on all sides.


The mama and baby sucks had settled in by an empty swimming pool, so we kept our distance from them while Balu scouted the neighborhood in the Volvo for bodies of water - where did they come from? Where were they going? Balu found nothing, even with the help of a map.

After standing there for a few minutes, thinking carefully and sighing deeply, I finally said, "Okay, let's catch 'em." Dreadfully.

I had an idea of where they could go - my old office's corporate park had a nice little pond where I spent many relaxing lunch hours, breaking bread with the local ibises, softshells, and, yes, muscovy ducks.

I failed horribly at my first attempt to catch the mamaduck. She flew into an empty swimming pool, then used the stairs to hop back out, which was entirely too amusing. I knew she wouldn't go too far, on account of her babies, and sure enough, she stuck around, despite my advances.

I caught her on the second or so try, horrified that I'd hurt her delicate wings or neck. We were in a backyard, by this time, and I was straddled over the mamaduck on the grass. Balu and Shannon went to work catching the baby ducks, ushering them over to the fence, where they were forced to run by me and I was able to pluck them up one-handed, the other hand on the mamaduck. The babies went into a big box that I think Balu got at Walgreens. For a minute, one of the babies went through a hole in the fence and I was TERRIFIED we had f'd up. Balu and Shannon went to work to catch it in the near-dark and were successful, thank god.

It's funny what a complete bitch drill sergeant I become in situations like this. I was barking orders out, trying my best to get Shannon and Balu to be good border collies, herding the ducks away from the gaps in the fence and exits from the yard. I trust their judgment and all, but in situations like this, being a "backseat driver" to make SURE things are going as you think they should is better - I'd rather offend someone than not offer a problem I foresee. I know how people sometimes hurt things they're trying to help, like all the folks that take in baby birds they find rather than leaving them to the mama birds, who are most likely keeping a watchful eye in a tree nearby.

At one point, someone who lived in the apartment complex came out to investigate what we were doing. "That duck belongs to the guy in apartment 1," he said. I sat there, still straddling mamaduck, and pondered this. "She's a muscovy duck. There's no water here. They were in the road and are lucky they didn't get hurt." A muscovy duck, for chrissake! The guy was being argumentative and annoying, so I tuned him out. At one point, Balu was helping me and the guy started in. When Balu turned to face him, I shouted, "Don't worry about the FUCKING GUY! WORRY ABOUT THE DUCKS!" I was just so terrified something would go wrong and we would leave the ducks worse off than we found them. That is just not acceptable. And poor Shannon. "RUN, SHANNON! GO THE OTHER WAY! IT'S GETTING AWAY FROM YOU!" She flipped me off a few times, but luckily I was too busy to notice. :)

After a nice no-a/c, windows-rolled up ride across town with a box of baby ducks in the back and a struggling mamaduck on my lap, we were able to let them go in a nice, quiet corporate park. I hated to let them out at night, but hoped they'd hunker down somewhere safe and be able to explore their new digs the next day.

Of course, they went straight for the road, which receives hotel & Bennigans-turnaround traffic, so we had to re-usher them to the pond. By the time we left, I was confident we had done as much as we could've.

We went back to the Walgreens to retrieve my shoes, which I had kicked off before I snuck up on the mama, and still made dinner at Sublime! What a fun hour!

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


froogle wishlist
Amazon wishlist

Animal Concerns Community
PetFinder, adoption
PetHarbor, adoption
Animal News
HSUS - Farm Animals Info
HSUS Guide to Veggie Eating

TWIP - This Week In Photography
Nat'l Geographic PoD
Clyde Butcher, photographer
Reference Desk
Powers of 10
The Morning News
Bad News Hughes
Cute Overload
natalie dee

June 2004 / August 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 /

Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

Powered by Blogger
i power blogger