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September 12, 2009

The Day The Ducks Were All In A Row

Ah, camping, nature, peace and quiet. Camping was something my children and I did several times a year. Sometimes we would take a road trip to different states and stay in a campground we would find along the way. We carried a large book of national campsites in the car. One memory that jumps out when I think of camping is of my daughters constructing daisy chains in a field near a campground in Kentucky and wearing the daisy chains on their heads. It made me want to cry to see them find something fun and innovative and get in the spirit of the camping trip.

Years later I was camping with friends and family at a membership campground. This campground was large yet each campsite was among trees and natural settings of leaves, bushes, downed logs, and lots of critters. Campers fished in a large lake on which ducks swam and played. I would sit on a bench under trees and read, catching sight of the ducks paddling around in the lake and enjoy the serenity.

One day a large white duck was not keeping up with the flock and was circling slowly in a small area close to the edge of the lake. I watched closely. I called to the duck. I ran back to my campsite and scavenged bread and popcorn to persuade the duck, who I was now calling Trouble, to come closer. He wasn't enticed by the food, but his friends were and soon they were out of the water, waddling and squawking. Fortunately, I had brought lots of bread and popcorn, so I started feeding the ducks and watching Trouble carefully lumber across the grass toward where the action was.
As he approached, I could see what was causing his distress. A fishing hook was caught in his leg and many feet of fishing line was following in his wake. I gasped, frightening the healthy ducks eating out of my hand.

There was absolutely NO WAY I could walk away from Trouble and leave him to his own devices. I ran back to the campsite again, this time to get my brother to help me, and I picked up pliers, first aid kit, and hydrogen peroxide and returned to the lake.
Using the same ploy of feeding the ducks, Trouble tried to join his friends at the side of the lake. As my brother fed the flock, I slowly advanced upon Trouble, gently talking to him. I reached his side and picked him up in my arms and when I looked at the red, swollen leg and the rusty fish hook, I knew it was the right thing to help him.

So with my brother holding Trouble, I never stopped the soothing talk as I used the pliers to pull out the fish hook, then poured hydrogen peroxide into the wound several times. Then I took Trouble out of my brother's hands and I carried him to the edge of the lake, waded in a few feet, set him into the water and wished him well.

During the next few days, my brother would join me in my visits to the lake to see how Trouble was doing. Each time we came to the bench we used to help Trouble, a large white duck hanging back from the rest of the ducks would quack at us. On the fourth day, as we walked to the lake, we could see all the ducks in a row, paddling and ducking and splashing. And one big white duck quacking loudly at us.

14 comments:

cinner said...

That is a nice story, I am glad you helped. Cherish your memories. have a great weekend my friend. take care. c

Shadow said...

oh how sweet! he made it!

otin said...

What a great story!!! I love your compassion!

Joanna Jenkins said...

You were so kind to that duck! Thanks for sharing a great story.
xo

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Oh man, I love that you saved him. And how you named him Trouble. My brother had a dog named Trouble. We love camping too! I have so many wonderful memories of camping with my kids. We used to stay in tents, really roughing it. And we would hike for miles and miles. Food tastes so good when it's cooked over a campfire and you're bone tired.

Brian Miller said...

that is a beautiful story. speaks volumes of your heart.

Steven Anthony said...

Thanx for stopping by my blog....Ive enjoyed yours alot, I will be back..

A Free Man said...

Sounds like it was the right thing to do to intervene. Well done.

Mimi said...

Well done- lovely tale.
Congrats on POTD mention!

gaelikaa said...

You did a very good thing. Congratulations on your POTD mention

Alix said...

I am thrilled to have followed David's link from authorblog to you this morning! I have a rather soft spot in my heart for ducks as well and thoroughly enjoyed reading about Trouble and your kindness toward him.

Thank you for caring and thank you for writing to tell us your story.

I have a series of stories myself about my experience raising ducklings and becoming very much attached to one in particular. LuLu. If you're interested, please follow this URL:

http://casahice.blogspot.com/search?q=lulu

Congratulations on your POTD mention!

Comedy Goddess said...

Wonderful! I am of the opinion that we are bound to help our animal cousins. Good for you! Congrats on your POTD!

Brian Miller said...

back just to say, you rock on the POTD mention!

smiles4u said...

How wonderful of you to help this duck. It speaks volumms of your compassionate heart. This was a lovely post. Congrats on post of the day mention!