An Islands Rescue

A story by Ryan Edwards

So I’m on my way back from getting a few gallons of gas from chevron along with the roommate and see something next to the road that would be photo worthy.  It was a mama duck along with her little herd of ducklings.  No really, a herd, there were like 10 of the little guys.   Phil and I go back to the house and take a few minutes to gather up our camera gear and set out upon our new adventure.  Much better may I add than our planned mowing the lawn for the first time this year.  When we arrived at our guessed destination, the pond, of our newly found duck family and they were nowhere to be found.  So we split up to go find them, Phil took the upstream route and I took the downstream one.
I was just climbing down the side of the banks when I heard a strange noise getting louder and louder.  It took a moment for me to realize that the noise was coming from a drain pipe that ran under the road.  Right when I reached the bottom of the stream “my noise” came shooting out of the drain pipe.  It was a baby duck.  The poor guy had become separated from his mother and was in a real tizzy over the situation.  He was trying to get upstream so he could get back to the group but he wasn’t able to fully fight the current.  I watched him for a few moments until he had gone up onto the shore and decided to stay there while crying for help.  I then ran back upstream to see what the mother was up to.  Here I was thinking that she would be in a tizzy looking at the drain trap trying to figure out where her little one had gone off to.  I eventually found her about 20 yards up sitting on the shore with the rest of the babies. I’m not even sure she knew the little one was gone.  I knew at that moment that drastic measures needed to be taken.  So I recruited Phil and we went downstream to attempt the rescue of the little duckling.  I hung up my camera on the rod Iron fence and climbed down into the marshy bottom of the stream.  At first I was glad that I had flip flops on, but then I quickly learned that the foliage strewn bottom consisted of a 12 inch sublayer of mud.  The kind of mud that eagerly swallows up flip flops.  It didn’t take long for the little duckling to realize that my primary objective of being on the stream bottom was him so he quickly improvised and decided a downstream get away was his fastest way out.  At that point, Phil had to abandon being the photographer of the event and become involved by going down stream to scare the little guy into coming back up.  After about 10 minutes of maneuvering up stream and realization by Phil that the mud was deeper than his water proof boots, we were able to get the duckling into a spot he couldn’t get away from.  He was a cunning little guy. If I wasn’t 6 feet tall, the rock he had found to hide behind would have been perfect camouflage.
After the capture, we went back across the road and found mama duck still with the remaining babies catching some afternoon rays on the side of the water.  I then climbed down to the stream bottom and mama decided it was no longer safe to be there and started grabbing up the troops for a getaway.  That was until she realized that I had one of her babies after I put him in the water.  It was a Hollywood moment.  Baby, now known as T.I. (since he was captured with a Texas Instrument hat) swam out into the middle and met each other with what I guess is a duck hug and she led the little guy back to the group and was accepted with open wings by the remainder of the little duck herd.  Below are a few pictures that were the result of our 30 minute afternoon adventure in the Islands subdivision.
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