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Ducklings stop traffic on Park Drive

To the Editor:

It took a lot of coordination for two drakes and two mother ducks to get more than 15 baby ducklings—in a group—to cross from the river at Havens Gardens to dry land across Park Drive.

The senior ducks chose the busy intersection—one with a traffic light—for their odyssey.

Cars stopped in four directions and sat, watching in silent wonder as the baby ducklings, little yellow balls of fuzz with toothpick-thin legs, scampered across the street and moved alongside the cars idled by their awestruck operators. It was almost a sacred rite of spring that stunned spectators saw. Surely each stopped driver breathed an unspoken prayer, “Let no careless driver spoil this odyssey!”

The baby ducklings marched steadfastly in a formation known only unto them. On either side, quacking mother ducks kept the youngsters in their serendipitous formation. The two drakes marched resolutely behind, obviously seeing to the safety of their flock/families.

As the duck parade marched past, drivers edged forward and resumed their trips. But they left with a warm, fuzzy feeling in their hearts.

What took place was something of a miracle. What made families of ducks decide to take a stroll at 2 p.m. on a lovely spring afternoon? What destination had such appeal as to cause the risk? What love of all God’s creatures, great and small, propelled driver after driver to STOP—and sit, watching a humbling display of familiar devotion and the beauty of God’s creation?

 

Betty Cochran

Washington