Amazing Duck Story

Thanks Ed


Something really amazing happened in  Downtown  Spokane  this week and I had to share the story  with you.
Some of you may know that my brother, Joel, is  a loan officer at Sterling Bank.  He works downtown on the second story of  a
two-story office building, overlooking  busy  Riverside Avenue  . Several weeks ago he watched a  mother
duck choose the cement awning outside his  window as the uncanny place to build a nest above the  sidewalk.
The mallard laid nine eggs in a nest in the  corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air.  She
dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks and  Monday afternoon all of her nine ducklings  hatched.

Joel worri ed all night how the mamma duck was  going to get those babies safely off their perch in a  busy,
downtown, urban environment to take to water, which  typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck
hatching.  Tuesday morning, Joel came to work and watched the mother duck  encourage her babies to the
edge of the perch with the intent to  show them how to jump off!

The mother flew down below and started quacking  to her babies above. In his disbelief Joel watched as the
first  fuzzy newborn toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin  air, crashing onto the cement below.
My brother couldn't watch  how this might play out. He dashed out of his office and ran down  the stairs to the
sidewalk where the first obedient duckling was  stuporing near its mother from the near fatal fall.

Joel looked up. The second duckling was getting  ready to jump! He quickly dodged under the awning while  the
mother duck quacked at him and the babies above. As the  second one took the plunge, Joel jumped forward
and caught it  with his bare hands before it hit the cement. Safe and sound, he set  it by the mamma and the other
stunned sibling, still recovering  from its painful leap.

One by one the babies continued to jump to join  their anxious family below. Each time Joel hid under the
awning  just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free  fall. The downtown sidewalk came
to a standstill. Time after  time, Joel was able to catch the remaining 7 and set them by t heir  approving mother.

At this point Joel realized the duck family had  only made part of its dangerous journey. They had 2 full  blocks
to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs, and pedestrians  to get to the closest open water, the  Spokane   River

The onlooking office secretaries then joined in,  and hurriedly brought an empty copy paper box to collect  the
babies.  They carefully corralled them, with the mother's approval, and  loaded them up into the white cardboard
container. Joel held the  box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly  navigated through the
downtown streets toward  the  Spokane   River  , as the mother waddled behind  and kept her babies in  sight.

s they  reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping into  the river and quacking loudly.
At the water's edge, the  Sterling Bank office staff then tipped the box and helped shepherd  the babies toward
the water and to their  mother after their adventurous  ride.

ll nine  darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up  snugly to mamma duck. Joel said the
mom swam  in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank workers, and  proudly quacking as if to say,  

'See, we did  it! Thanks for all the help!

Thankfully, one of the secretaries had a digital  camera and was able to capture most of it (except the
actual  mid-air catching) in a series of attached  photographs.
Please  join me in celebrating my brother--
The Downtown Duck  Hero!


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