Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ducks in Trees

As I walked down the footpath at the Swamp I could hear other people talking. The voices grew louder as I crossed over the bridge. Standing in the path was a woman and a small boy. He looked to be about 6. He was telling his mother in a very excited voice that he had seen a duck in a tree. The mother was patiently trying to explain that ducks are in the water not in the trees. The little boy was adamant. He kept repeating in a loud voice that he “really, truly” saw a duck in a tree.

As I drew near them, the mother looked at me and shook her head. She smiled a tiny smile.

“Kids.” She said.

I leaned down to the boy. “Where did you see the duck?”

He pointed back down the path. I scanned the trees with my binoculars and sure enough he was right. Back in the trees, fairly high up, was a male Wood Duck.

I turned to the woman and said, “He’s right. There are ducks in trees. That one is a Wood Duck.”

“Here use these.” I let her and the boy use my binoculars.

She looked at me incredulously and followed my pointing finger. “I have never seen a duck in a tree before,” she said. She turned to her son and apologized for doubting him.

The little boy smiled a gigantic smile as they moved passed me on the path.

As they rounded the bend, I heard him say, “I told you there were ducks in the trees.”


John L. Trapp said...

Cute story, and a very nice blog. I like the way you occasionally weave birding adventures into your stories.

Dave said...

Good for you! It's probably to much to hope that the mother might've learned from this.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Yay for observant children. Don't give the mom too hard a time -- kids do often say things that sound incredible because they ARE! :)

Jochen said...

That's a VERY lovely story!!

Bevson said...

I don't think the Mom had ever been outside of a mall in her life. Hmmmm, perhaps that sounds harsh. Suffice it to say that she had never been to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge before. She said she had never seen Wood Ducks before. We actually had a nice chat. I think her little boy has been infected by the birding bug.

Anonymous said...

Dave S. says:

True story.

A few years ago I saw a duck fly right over the lake by out cottage and land in a big wind-damaged hemlock tree. I think it was a mallard.

My wife still doesn't believe me.