Behind our home flows one of the many irrigation canals that crisscross Boise. Now that it’s spring, a great number of ducks use this waterway to swim to and from whatever ducks need to go to and from.
First, they were cruising, alone or in small bands, looking for a mate.
Now, they have their fuzzy, incredibly cute little ducklings. Some mothers raise their brood alone, others proudly swim alongside “their” drake, both parents herding, encouraging, and cheering on their tiny fuzz balls. Those little duckies must weigh no more than a few grams and yet, they manage to swim up-stream; and – believe me – the current is quite strong.
Tonight, my son and I witnessed a duck war.
One mama-duck watched over her ducklings, drifting downstream, while another duck and her drake were leading and herding their babies upstream. They came across each other right next to our house.
It was the loud quacking and splashing and wing-fluttering that alerted us to the window.
The drake chased the other mother duck clear out of the water, with her ten or so babies bobbing leaderless in the canal near the bank on which she sat and griped; alas, the ducklings were too small and flightless to follow her up onto the grass.
In the meantime, the drake wagged his tail proudly, called his own kids and hurried mother and babies along, upstream.
For a moment, all the little ducklings came across each other, the ones weaving their way among the others: one big fluffy clump wiggling and bobbing on the canal until each group untangled from the feathery mass and followed their parent(s) along.
This duck war ended in general cuteness.
Don’t we wish our wars would end that way, too?