Making Way for DC Ducklings

Just in time for Mother’s Day

A real life drama, reminiscent of the beloved children’s book, “Make Way for Ducklings“, unfolded a couple of days before Mother’s day, half a block away from the notorious K Street in Washington, DC.

A mother duck, having successfully hatched 7 cute little ducklings (an unhatched egg and a lame duckling were left behind but such are the ways of mother nature), lead them on an adventure across busy DC streets, bringing countless smiles to the faces of strangers, helping some befriend each other by the time the adorable brood reached the safety of the reflection pool of Rawlins Park.

Showing kindness to animals

By chance, during my lunch break I had gone to a nearby park to practice Tai Chi Chuan when on my way back to the office I saw a group of people gathered  around what turned out to be the hatching grounds for a new brood of ducklings. I quickly ran to the office to grab my iPad as I had no other camera with me and my iPhone had just conveniently crashed. My boss, a talented photographer, brought his monochrome Leica and you can admire his photos here.

The shaky videos I took would hardly convey the excitement the slow stroll of the ducklings brought to the humans guarding their passage. A group of devotees soon shaped up, trying to assist the little ones by stopping traffic on the busy streets, offering inventive props — shawls, lunch boxes, books — to assist the ducklings in overcoming the obstacles infront of their tiny feet.


I am guessing, Meg Wolitzer, the author of the admired new novel, “The Interestings“, never imagined her book used in such a way, but I can only imagine that she would be delighted to know!

 “He should show kindness to animals, how much more unto his fellow-man, to him who is endowed with the power of utterance.” ~ Baha’u’llah

The next day, I went to Rawlins Park again to check on the duck family but they were not there anymore. I am not sure if the male duck who had had approached the newly arrived brood was welcoming them or actually trying to shoo them by informing them who was in charge of that lake. All I know is that the mother duck took the best possible care of her little ducklings — much better than anyone of us could have offered. And I do know that everyone whose path was crossed by these waddling ducks was touched and made a tiny bit more loving towards their fellow human.

Update:

Brilliant photos added by a GWU photographer who was part of the dedicated group guarding the passage of the ducklings:

DC Ducklings using Meg Wolitzer's book "The Interestings" as a stepping stone. Photo credit, GWU

DC Ducklings using Meg Wolitzer’s book “The Interestings” as a stepping stone. Photo credit, GWU

I had contacted  Meg Wolitzer to let her know about creative use of her book in the ducklings’ adventure and she responded kindly:

Dear Mitko Gerensky,

That is very charming, and I am glad my book was able to serve a vital
role!  Thank you so much for sending this.

All best,

Meg

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