Thursday, May 06, 2010

Well, that's just ducky!

Right outside my classroom window, in a sunny corner, a duck has made a nest. The momma sits patiently in the sun all day protecting and warming her eggs. The daddy duck struts around occasionally, and being the flashy dude that he is, he has caught the eye of the students. Now they know there is a momma duck in the corner of the building. Sigh. Every day a few students decide they want to see this duck and try to get too close. Momma is stressed and quite protective. She lets out a god-awful squawk and that alarm lets me know there are kids to be chased away.

Why am I the duck protector? Because I'm here. And I'm a momma. And I know what it feels like to have your babies threatened or gawked at. And I don't want to see anything happen to the babies. I don't like thinking that momma's heart is beating like crazy and her adrenaline is pumping and her brain feels fear. That's just not right. Yeah, sure, she chose a bad place for her nest. We all make bad choices at times. But now we need to help her make the best of a bad situation until she is able to make a wiser one.

And that should be all it takes. But unfortunately, the principal made an announcement today to tell the kids to stay away from the duck. (Ironically because she does not want them to get bitten - not because it's common decency and respect.) So now all the students know there is a duck nursery on the school grounds. Even the twelve year old tough guys who would like nothing better than to terrorize a duck and smash the eggs.

It makes me anxious and worried for the duck. I feel her fear, and her desire to protect those babies. But I can't do anything else to help. And that makes me sad. Every day when I get to school I check to see if she is ok. I dread the day when I will come and she will be hurt and the eggs destroyed. I wonder, if she had to do it again, would she make the same decision?

We can only do so much to protect others and things. Only so much. I can't help the duck. I can't watch her twenty-four/seven. I can't be here to make sure others don't harm her or take advantage of her bad choice. Ultimately it was her choice. And she will have to live with the consequences.

I just wish I didn't have to witness it.

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