Eight Little Ducklings in a Row

I just watched the Hoop and Holler video footage of a brave Mama Duck crossing Portage la Prairie with eight little ducklings following, trusting their mama to lead them in the way they should go. It brought back memories of leading two little human children. I had a permanent crick in my neck and I recall feeling a bit envious of ducks.

The video is six minutes long, but it took much longer in real life.  Mama Duck doesn’t have to keep looking over her shoulder to see if her brood is keeping up. Those tiny duckling legs are just racing and they must have been exhausted by the time they reached the water. Instinct keeps the little ones completely focused on their mama, and they all stayed together. Their lives depend on it.

Can you imagine the same journey if the family was human? If I had to lead my two little ones on the same route that Mama Duck led her eight ducklings this morning, I think it would have taken at least a day. As soon as my kids could both walk, they were running off in opposite directions. My two girls are two years apart; I can’t imagine having twins. The thought of octuplets blows my mind.

Leading human children anywhere is more like herding kittens. When my girls were little I remember saying, “And… we’re… off…like a herd of screaming turtles!” They didn’t want to hold my hand, so when it was reasonably safe to do so, I would let them walk beside me. But they wouldn’t stay beside me. They would walk right in front of me, and then stop to look at something, tripping me. If they were behind me, I would be looking back continually and envying ducks. Just sayin’.

Karen Gross

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.