Well, Friday was my last day at what I can now call my old school. The kids last day was Thursday. We had our tearful goodbyes, they hugged me until I couldn't breathe, even a couple of the boys. I promised to come back and visit and that I would never forget them.
Friday was a teacher attendance day. The building is being renovated, so all teachers had to pack up their rooms, which was no easy task. I was done, which led me to this story I am about to tell.
Our school has a courtyard in the middle of our building. It could be a real pretty, serene place, but for years I have said that what it actually needs is a controlled burn. No one takes care of it. There is one beautiful tree, protected from the elements, keeps it leaves the longest during the fall and blooms early. Otherwise it is a jumble of weeks and nasty grass with old wooden tables and benches. About a month ago a mother duck decided to visit our courtyard. I promptly went out there scaring her away, knowing she was scoping out a place to make home for her and her babies. I did this a couple times, it worked, she never returned, or so I thought.
Monday, there she is, first time I had seen her in a month, with 9 baby ducklings! Sneaky bugger! They are all too cute, fluffy, little things with no way out. So we call the local wildlife rescue, who was no help. "Just open the door and lead them through the hallway to outside." Easier said than done.
So come Friday, I am ready, I set forth a plan to get these baby ducks and momma to safety. I recruited others to help.
I am going to spare you all the juicy baby duck saving details, a play by play...
-Momma duck flew into the building after opening the door. She was in the building, baby ducks dispersed throughout the courtyard. Except two that ran into the building, down the hallway into the conference room, I dove to get one.
-Collected all the baby ducks (except one that hid very well outside)
-Led momma through the hallways, as I held onto the box of the chirping babies.
-Momma flies away as she gets outside, she flies overhead watching her babies in the box, in my hands.
-Let the babies go in the field, momma is circling but never comes to get them
-Search for last baby unsuccessful until someone goes and gets one the babies in the field and uses it as a lure for momma and the other duckling... successful.
-So now we have two baby ducks, momma on our school roof, looking down on the courtyard still.
-Send a search and rescue party for the baby ducks in the field
-A fellow teacher has a brilliant plan for he and I to go up onto the roof and show momma duck we have her babies in the box
-So of course I took every opportunity to go up onto the school roof. Here we are, ducklings in the box, wind knocks the box over, babies run towards momma, momma starts running for the edge of the roof, I am screaming, "Oh my god they are going to jump!!" We both take off running towards the edge of the roof, dive in time to save and capture the two ducklings, back in the box they go.
-Second brilliant plan, momma duck is on the ground looking up at the roof, below is a bunch of bushes. Fellow teacher decided lets drop the box off the roof, it will softly land on the bushes, the babies will get out and mom will get them. Well, OK?...
-Here goes the box, gently lands on the bushes (we weren't really that far up, one story), box doesn't tip over but with some effort, the babies get out and run towards momma
-That was until someone from below screams my name, baby ducks halt and hide in a bush
We left it at that, mom hung around the bushes, we figured she knew they were there and then hopefully go back to the field for the rest of her babies.
I walked away with a scraped knee and some bruises from making two dives for a baby duck. All this on my last day at the school I have loved working in for the last six years. It was quite the memory. Now if momma ever comes back next year, don't call me.