Duckling rescue

I’m a tired boy and have a children’s book to work on. It’s nearly finished, but whether it will get published remains a mystery (my agent doesn’t handle this stuff, so I have to use other approaches). One thing I’ve discovered, and should have realized, is that writing children’s books is no walk in the park: it takes a completely different skill set from that used in technical and trade books.  And you have to be able to put yourself inside the mind of a child, yet I’ve never had offspring. It’s been a challenge, and I’ve worked harder on those 1200 words than on any similarly sized piece I’ve ever written.

But I digress. Here is a nice guy rescuing a baby mallard caught in some wire. Notice how protective the mother gets when she thinks her baby is being harmed. But in the end all is well.  (And when will my own mallard hen return?)


h/t: Grania


  1. busterggi
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Birds do get protective. I hand-raised all my cockatiels back when I had breeders and the parents (Bessie and Clyde) always freaked out and attacked me for the first few weeks with every clutch. Of course they acted very apologetic if I just gave them attention, making ‘baby-bird’ noises and preening my fingers.

    There are times I miss doing that.

  2. Posted February 15, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    That’s a lot of ducklings for one brood! (And why do they seem to be two different colours?)

    • Posted February 15, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Probably a segregating mutation. We one had a mallard hen who produced all yellow ducklings and one black one. Our chairman named it “Mallard X.”

    • Posted February 15, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      A mallard will lay an average of 8 to 12 eggs. See:

      As for different colours, see:

    • Diane G.
      Posted February 15, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Ducks are also famous for brood parasitization..

      “Finally, ducks, unlike many passerines, do not defend the immediate vicinity of their nests during the laying period, easing the access of parasitic females to the nest. This exposes ducks to interspecific parasitization as well, generally by other ducks. The Redhead appears to be our most persistent parasitic duck. In one study on artificial islands in reservoirs in Alberta, Redheads parasitized 19 percent of 685 duck nests, laying an average of 2.68 eggs per parasitized nest. Mallard nests were most frequently parasitized, but the percentage of parasitic eggs per nest was highest when Lesser Scaups were the hosts.”

  3. Posted February 15, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Children’s books require good illustrations – did you consider that? Maybe some of your many followers/friends are accomplished artists and might help you with that. 🙂

    • dabertini
      Posted February 15, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Oh you have no idea. PCC(e) enlisted the best illustrator to do the artwork for the book. Part of the reason it has taken so long.

  4. Posted February 15, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    “Look out, duck!”

    “In what sense do you mean that?”


    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 15, 2018 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Experience mountaineer and inexperienced one standing next to each other. Stage left, someone shouts “Rock”. One looks up, the other kisses rock. Guess which is which.

      • Laurance
        Posted February 15, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Okay, Aidan, I’ll bite. Which is which? A rock may be falling down. Or it may be an order to rock one way or the other. Or it may be both. My guess is a rock is falling down and the experienced mountaineer leans over to kiss a rock and escapes being hit by a falling rock.

        So what’s the answer?

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted February 16, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          Yep – it’s a warning (“below” is also common, but doesn’t work when it’s natural rockfall because there’s no one above), so you get up close and personal, or get a face full of rock. Even a face full of schrapnel can be a pretty big problem if it takes several days to get to assistance.

  5. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Both Roald Dahl (Mathilda, James and the Giant Peach, etc.) and C.S. Lewis wrote some fairly decent children’s books while bachelors. (Dahl went on to write several more after his marriage. Lewis had already wrapped up Narnia by the time of his marriage.)

  6. Laurance
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this lovely video! My kitty with the kidney disease is slowly fading away, and two people at the nursing home where my Sweetie lives died. They were people I cared about. (Nursing home deaths can bring real mixed feelings. On the one hand we miss these people we’ve come to love. On the other hand, sick old age can be a real horror show, and death can be a merciful friend.)

    So it’s really really good to see this duck video. You put a smile on my face!

  7. rickflick
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Well, I hope, Jerry, your book is a success.
    I’m now thinking of Richard and Florence Atwater who wrote “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” in 1939. One of my first favorite books. I’ve always admired the kid’s authors like Charles Dodgson who gave us “Alice in Wonderland” and Ted Geisel known as Dr. Seuss.
    When children read these masterpieces they grow significantly and live richly.

  8. Posted February 16, 2018 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Do you interact with small people? Surely chums must have or have had spring offs with whom you have been Uncle Jerry?! 🙂

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