A few weeks ago, this mama duck was swimming solo. Her life on Little Lake Harbor on Lake Superior was sweet, uncomplicated. She paddled, ate, sat in the sun, floated with her friends, watched boats come and go and took care of herself.
Then there were the eggs and the hatching and now the ducklings who followed her everywhere. Instead of just being herself, a duck in the wild, she was their mother. She had to fend for them and teach them to fend for themselves. Nothing prepared her for this except being a duck herself. She knew how to be a duck, that’s all she had to offer these babies. Herself.
She’d stood frozen by the boat landing. Not moving a feather while we consulted the bird book to determine that she was, in fact, a female Common Mallard. She stood like stone until we got out of the…
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