Security guard helping duck family across the street.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and to everyone who “mothers” others! I enjoyed remembering this story from last May so much that I decided to share it with you again – especially when things are so different for so many of us right now.

This is about a determined Mama Duck who took charge of the safety of her 10 fuzzy ducklings! Somehow they had gotten into the parking lot at Trader Joe’s and were being escorted across the street by a nice security guard.

I jumped out of our car to take some photos and then joined a concerned group wanting to help the duck family. On this little video below, you can see the duck family’s journey to safely overcome obstacles to regain the safety of the river.

The Curb Challenge!

Stuck at the wall.

Mama Duck clearly knew how to take charge of her ducklings’ safety and was totally focused on that. Quacking at her babies to “Stay Together,” trying out different ways to get back to the water, going back to check on her ducklings who got stuck at the curb for a while, and staying near people who could help her until they got back to Nature. I loved how she kept gathering her 10 babies, not leaving a single one behind. She seemed completely unflustered despite all the hazards.

Finding a path to get around the wall.

At one point, the ducklings’ journey was unintentionally blocked by a somewhat confused man sitting on a sleeping bag in their path. He reached out his arms and said, “I’ll just take them all into my lap.”

While his intentions were well-meant, I came very close, smiled in a friendly way, and said cheerfully and firmly, “I know you want the ducks to be safe, and it’s better to let them go on their own.”

The man didn’t look like he agreed with me, so I said, “Wild Animal Rescue will be here soon.”
Still very friendly, I stayed next to him and the ducks to help him not act on his temptation to pick them up.

Finally, Mama Duck realized the only way to get around the man was to lead her fuzzy family past him in single file, while keeping a close eye on him. They then continued their journey, waddling into the bushes, where we could hear them peeping their way towards the river. All still following Mama Duck’s quacking instructions to “Stay Together” for safety.

Our Duck Family Support Group agreed that helping out Mama Duck and her babies was a lovely way to celebrate Mother’s Day. And I personally feel she truly demonstrated the Kidpower mindset to keep her children safe. Wouldn’t you agree?

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Published: May 16, 2019   |   Last Updated: May 10, 2020

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.