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Duckling rescue

Ha!  I am not the meanest person on the planet!

Taking advantage of a minor lull/lessening in this rain that seems miserably stuck overhead, I snuck out for a quick run this morning.  And good thing I did run, and not just take the dog for a walk.  The dog only goes to the end of the road, but the run goes a bit farther.

Routes 8 and 9, west of Chestertown, NY, eastbound lane of the road, no glasses on… what is that?

It was a duckling, not very stable on his tiny webbed feet, unsure whether to cross over to Loon Lake, or wobble to the closer pond off to the side.  Traffic tends to come fast on this road, and it is common to see enormous logging trucks zoom by.

I tried shooing the little guy to the pond, but he was not interested in being shooed.  I blocked the lane in the road so that cars and trucks had to go around him.  One person even turned around and came back to see if I needed assistance.  Eventually I picked up my new friend, and brought him down to the sandy shore on the side of the road where I usually see ducks.  He tried to wiggle out of my grip, pecking at my hands with his 1/2″ bill.  He was tiny, very young, and clearly not old enough to make it on his own.

I slogged up and down the shores on both sides of the road, trying to imitate my sister in law, Chris’, amazing duck call.  I’m pretty sure I just sounded like an idiot.  A wet one, at that.  The duckling meanwhile crouched against a rock on the beach to block the wind, and perhaps recover from my earlier refusal to let him go.

What to do?  Abandon the little guy?  No ducks were answering my call.  No ducks were swimming tranquilly on the lake or the pond.  I threw a few rocks into the reedy areas to see if I could scare anything up.

When I was just about to leave, knowing the duckling would become someone’s dinner, I heard a flapping off to my left, and an adult duck flew out of the rushes.  I peeked in, and there were 8-10 ducklings the same size as my friend.  Back to the beach, retrieve the lost brother, more attempts to flee my grip, and then happily I was able to deposit him with his siblings.

What started out as a miserably wet and windy run ended up being a bright and happy reunion.

And you better believe I finished my run with my arms in the air.  Rocky Balboa I was!

About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!


  1. My favorite so far! I love you for this one!

    • Claire Ziamandanis

      ken – I think I might bring down some bread for the little crowd, since I can’t eat it myself!

  2. you are a wonderful human being! I picture you doing a duck walk and quacking up and down the little shore…what a sight!!!

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