Friday, May 29, 2009

My love is like a Mother Wood Duck's


Mama Wood Duck & Ducklings

The first clue should have been when we spotted two ducks IN A TREE (??) several weeks ago. We chalked the weirdness of that sighting up to an extended happy hour, and dismissed it from our minds. However, doing a little research later, I discovered that the visitors were wood ducks, which nest in trees, usually within one mile of a water source. After hatching, the baby ducklings FALL from the tree's nest, and can survive falls to the ground up to 250+ feet. Which makes me think, "Watch that first step...it's a doozy!"

I've decided that my love is like a Mother Wood Duck's.

No, it'll never be the title of a hit country song, but bear with me, and you'll understand the sentiment after reading this entry.

So, really, the performance could have received an Oscar for Best Actress in a dramatic role. The Wood Duck was THAT good. As I walked out into my yard, I heard a flapping noise in the yard next door. It was a duck, and it appeared to be incredibly hurt and agitated. "Pain" and stress were emanating from this poor creature. It flailed, it hopped, it dragged it's wing. And me? I fell for the biggest distraction ever, even though every kid in elementary science learns that this is a a mother bird's ploy to distract a human or other predator from either its nest or its young.

I stopped in my tracks and surveyed the scene. "Aha! I'm onto you, Mama," I said. Sure enough, out from beneath some Hosta plants, screaming, "Cheep, cheep," were ELEVEN little wood ducklings. Fluffy little marvels hollering, "Wait for me!"

The mother duck, you can imagine that internally, she was shaking her head, "These kids. They never listen...I tell them to wait in the bushes. Do they? Of course not. *SIGH*" Resigned to her protective role, she returned to them, and placed her body between me and her brood.

As a fellow mother, I understand the responsibility and the burden of providing physical protection. I moved to a safer distance to watch them, which lessened the mother's terror. She turned back to them, and gave them what I can imagine to be a tongue lashing about following orders. I'm sure there would be repercussions for the disobeying ducklings later.

They turned to go. Eleven little fluffballs, following in a straight line like new kindergartners, and I was left to ponder the bravery and love of the Mother Wood Duck.

Daughter, I love you like a Wood Duck loves its ducklings. As a Mom, it is my job to protect you from harm. I would use any means of distraction to lure a predator away from you, even at my own peril. I would take on any animal or human threat, even if it was 100 times my size. I would place my body between you and any danger. Now, if it were only as easy to protect you from emotional hurts!

So again, I love you like a Wood Duck. Listen for it on your local radio station.

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