HERO: I am the wind beneath THEIR wings.

I won't waste my time or yours with fake humility. I'm not saying it's the greatest thing you've ever heard of- but it is possible. I am a hero. People CLAPPED for me today. I risked my life. I SAVED lives. Eight, to be exact. Send me a SASE if you want an 8x10 glossy autographed for you or your loved ones.

Today in the fast lane of 26, the car in front of me hit a baby duckling. Sadly I think my tires also contributed to the demise of the tiny duck. It broke my heart. It got worse when I saw the mama duck & her 8 surviving ducklings waddling eastbound on 26 in in the fast lane-side hazard lane.

I got off the freeway, circled back, and slammed on my brakes to swerve into the hazard lane. I nearly got rear ended- it was VERY foolish, but I was panicked. I got out & tried to catch the ducklings in my gym bag. Thankfully traffic had slowed and a very kind man stopped to help me. We were able to corner them & caught ALL 8. The mama duck flew the coop.

I circled again & tried to find a place on the freeway that was safe enough to pull over & reunite the babies with their circling mom. No such luck- there was no good place for a reunion. Ashley transfered me to the Audubon Society & I drove there with 8 chirping baby ducks on my front seat.

When I got to the Audubon Society I DASHED inside (after an opportunistic photo shoot in the car, naturally.) THEY CLAPPED FOR ME WHEN I ENTERED. Hoards of people flooded out from the back room. They praised my heroic efforts. It was more gratifying than giving BIRTH. They informed me that this was their first baby duckling delivery of the season! I was heady with the glory. I looked around for local or national news crews but there were none to be found (they must have been stuck in traffic or something?)

Anyhow, they got the ducks & RUSHED back to hwy 26 to try & reunite the ducklings with their mom. They called me tonight to let me know they were UNABLE to reunite the duckies with their mom. So sad. They said traffic was too loud & so she probably couldn't hear her babies to come get them. I know she's a duck, but I still feel sad for her. The upside is that these ducks will be cared for at Audubon for 5 weeks until they can be released in the wild. They are LESS THAN TWO DAYS OLD (!) and the lady said I CAN VISIT THEM WHENEVER I WANT!!!! Hm. Go visit my stroke-victim-mom or the 8 ducks I saved??? Hm...

Here's one of my ducklings, Michelle. I named him after me.

The whole flock.



Hannah said...

Seriously the best blog post EVER!! I never thought an animal rescue story could top the "running down Ross Island bridge with Doritos bag in hand" dog rescue!!! I'm seriously impressed!(and now secretly want a baby duckling of my own, so cute!)

Kate said...

Wow. I am so proud to say you are my sister. Way to go - I can just envision the slow clap erupting into loud cheering as the staff members assembled around you.

Kate said...

This comment comes via Matt, "won't Jack just shoot the ducks anyway?"

Patty & Jack said...

Michelle this is AMAZING. I'm so glad you took videos and pictures. :) We just need to work on your duck call now to hunt down that mom.

Sadly Jack said he WOULD be hunting these babies come winter. :(

The Ropp Family said...

Thanks for the shout out. I feel partially responsible for their lives =)

Also, part of me wants to hang out with you more-just for the fact that I might be around during something like this. Hehe

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)