This Thing Called Courage

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother Duck, 2 Ducklings, Reunited

(This is from the Manchester Union Leader)
By SHAWNE K. WICKHAM

New Hampshire Sunday News Staff

MANCHESTER – A mother duck was reunited with two of her little ones after they were rescued from a storm drain, thanks to the quick reaction of some folks who work in the Millyard.
Joni Castrogiovanni, owner of Not So Plain Janes on Dow Street, said the drama unfolded Thursday afternoon while some of her employees were outside taking a break. They were admiring the sight of a mother duck followed by 11 ducklings -- and then watched in dismay as two of the babies tumbled through a grate in the middle of Commercial Street.
"Everyone kept saying, 'It's Mother's Day. We can't let her lose two of her babies,'" Castrogiovanni said.
Someone called the police, who dispatched the city water works department. The salon stylists, soon joined by other Millyard employees, corralled the frantic mama duck and her other nine ducklings under a parked truck while they waited for help to arrive.
They finally managed to get the ducklings into a box for safekeeping.
"The mother was flipping out. She kept wanting the other two babies," Castrogiovanni said. "She was so upset. It was really sad."
The story has a happy ending. Two men from the water works department arrived to open the grate; they put a ladder down into the drain and one man climbed down to rescue the ducklings.

"Everybody was screaming and clapping," Castrogiovanni said.
The human helpers gathered all the ducklings in the box and let them out close to the Merrimack River. That's when they saw the male duck.
"He came out of the water. He went over to the family and I swear to God it looked like he was yelling at her. They were having a conversation," Castrogiovanni said.
"And then the whole family went into the water together."
"It was the cutest little thing."
Reached yesterday at home, Thomas Bowen, director of Manchester Water Works, hadn't heard about the rescue. And while what his employees did may not have been exactly kosher, Bowen said they aren't in trouble.
"I think it's a great story," he said. "Particularly for the Mother's Day holiday."

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