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 ten
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 ten 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 to the sidewalk where the first
obedient duckling was standing near its mother from the near fatal
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
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 8 and set them by their approving
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 on looking 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 the box and
helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to their mother
after their adventurous ride.
All ten 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.
Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly.
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