Like Water Off a Duck

A tiny survivor entered my life today.

During my daily Gratitude Walk this morning, I spotted a family of ducks: four ducklings and a mom.

One little duck was being ferried around by his mates, his legs limply hanging and his body slightly submerged.

I admired them for a while and moved along.

Not long afterward, the little family caught up to me and hopped up onto the shore. The mother faced the water, calling and calling.

They were one duckling short.

Returning to the original site, I found the injured sibling. Struggling, lopsided in the water, one little mini wing flapping.

And sinking fast.

A passerby declined my request to phone for wildlife help so I stood at the waters edge and hoped the little duck would float into reach.

He did. I scooped him up and carried him home.

(Not the passerby. The duck.)

Our Wild Bird Care Centre helped me make him comfortable while I ran to radiation. He was flopped over to one side, his eyes closed and I didn’t like to leave him.

I hoped the whole way there and back that he’d be alive and revived when I returned.

He was.

I found him sitting in his water dish, eyes open and alert.

Patiently waiting for his drive to the Wild Bird Care Centre.

Sweet little Duck.

About Andrea

Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

  • That is a most fantastic story, Andrea! The other day when Apple and I were driving home from errands, we found a young chickadee in the road. She had some problems with her hind legs, but fortunately was able to fly. When she did, we followed her to a low branch and watched her fall off, unable to cling properly to it due to something wrong with her legs. I brought her home and tried in vain for several hours to locate some wildlife facility in my area to help her. Not-a-one. We were told because she was prey for larger birds, they would euthanise her. With a few bits of adivce from a much further away unit, I was able to help her out. We think she was in shock from hitting a car. I let her go some time later and she flew off towards a higher elevation.
    I'm glad your duckling will make it; do you know if he'll be reunited with his family?

  • sheree fitch

    You are one amazing duck saving woman. xoxooxoox

  • Nancy

    I needed to read this little tale of compassion, resilience and survival this morning. Yours and the duck's. Thank you.

  • steve

    now, you've made me cry

  • Ginny, Sheree, Nancy,

    Thank you for your kind notes. Our little duck arrived safely at the Care Centre and was assigned an ID so we can call and check on his progress. The caregiver noted that his breathing was gurgly so we're hoping that is just a little aspirated water from his near-drowning and that he can bounce back from his troubles and enjoy a happy life.

    Once we know he's on the road to recovery, I guess we'll learn whether or not he'll be returned to his urban home.

    We're all keeping our fingers crossed and sending him good, healing vibes…

  • Jay

    I love your rescue tales, both today's and yesterday's. Nice work!

  • I pulled a fledgling sparrow out of a city storm drain when my daughter was a toddler – tiny little thing, all chirp and pinfeathers and not much else. Passers by were concerned, but not that much. I took him/her to an animal rescue place – stuck in traffic for hours both ways, got sick from exhaust fumes (I have chemical sensitivities,) nearly ran out of gas, spent my last 38 cents on a snack for the kiddo (broke in cash, rich in food at home,) missed the evening in the park I'd promised to my daughter, wondered if it was all worthwhile, yowled to a friend who told me I'd paid my karma bill for a while, shrugged and asked if I'd have had it any other way.

    The next day I called to see if the sparrow was OK. He was fine, thriving, and I'm still grinning at the memory of how that tiny little thing inspired my inner task-master. Give me a reason and I'll kick ass.

    On the flip side, if a stubborn and teensy beastie like that can drive me to go the distance, what voices in myself could I “rescue,” once committed?

  • jenniferthibault

    what a beautiful story! thank you for sharing, and isn't the message inspiring?

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