Every mother’s list of worst-case scenarios includes having one of her children lost or attacked. And most mothers will fiercely fight for their offspring. You’ve probably received the advice to never get in between a mother bear and her cubs. Well, here is proof that you never want to mess with Mama Duck’s babies, no matter how handsome a swan you may be.
This is what happened:
As I approach the duck pond, I hear people screaming and waving towards this trio:
The swan was in pursuit of the little duckling which made Mama Duck very anxious
She charges the swan
The swan counter-attacks
The baby has disappeared and Mama Duck flies away
Baby Duckling comes up for air and swims towards the center island for safety
The swan reaches for the duckling and slams it into the water several times. He seems to be devouring it, or else wanting to drown it. People watch in horror from the other side of the pond: “He is killing the duckling, no, no…”
Mama Duck flies into action again to distract the Big Bad Wolf (aka Swan)
Again, he fends her off and she finally flies away to find the rest of her brood she left unattended.
The small group of people that has huddled together to watch this drama includes two gay men with tattoos, a young mother with twin babies, another mother with a toddler in hand, and this middle-aged blogger. We talk about how it all started and feel sad for the loss of the duckling and compassion for its mother. Why would a big swan feel threatened by a tiny little duckling who surely would not be a danger to the swan wife sitting on her nest nearby? Suddenly, someone cries out: “Here he is, look, look!”
The little duckling survived the severe water-boarding and had re-emerged close to where we were gathered. The swan had also noticed and started swimming towards the duckling again. People picked up little pebbles and twigs and threw them at the swan to chase him off. Nonchalantly, the swan changed direction which allowed the little duckling to escape into an overflow area full of twigs. Two park employees were readying a shovel to lift the little one into the overflow should the swan come near him again.
The swan watched from the distance as Baby Duckling paddled along the edge of the pond in search of his family. I follow along, camera in one hand and a stick in the other, in case Mister Swan starts to act aggressive again.
The duck family watches quietly as the little duckling steps out of the pond to join them.
There are no hugs and kisses from Mama Duck but one of the siblings waddles over and cuddles up to the almost-lost duckling
Within a few moments, Mama Duck leads the way and takes her charges back into the water.
This week’s Photo Challenge is: Forces of Nature.