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Last week I came home from work about 8pm just as the daylight was starting to disappear. I unloaded my car and then looked across the road. I saw two ladies that I had never seen before scrabbling under my neighbours car with what looked like a fishing net. It looked very odd and I was, to say the least a little bit suspicious. I went indoors and looked at what was going on and decided that there was definitely something amiss.
As I walked across the road, my neighbour pulled up on his drive and we spoke to the two ladies who were still frantically waving nets. Then the story unfolded. Earlier in the day a mother duck and her 13 ducklings had been spotted in a quiet cul de sac just off of our road. Later in the day, after a horrendous storm only the mother duck could be seen and she was sitting above a drain and quacking very loudly. The two ladies explained that the ducklings had been washed down the drain and with fishing nets they had managed to save ten but the last three had escaped and were running up and down the road hiding in people’s gardens, hence the net waving.
My first thought was what happens if they do catch them so came back indoors to find a large cardboard box. Soon after one of the babies had been caught and was placed in safety. Several minutes later the second duckling joined him and then the hunt for that last duckling who obviously didn’t want to be caught started.
In the meantime the mother duck and her ten ducklings had vanished and fingers crossed found their way back to their home at a local pond so good news for them.
The daylight was rapidly going and the one duckling still couldn’t be seen. By this time at least six neighbours had been helping in the duck hunt but still to no avail. It was almost dark when I decided to call it a day. I left one neighbour still desperately hunting saying that she couldn’t give up on the last one and that she would find it. Everyone else had called it a day. I went back home and did wonder what had happened to that duckling but thought that the outcome wouldn’t be the one that we had all hoped for. The next morning I received the following message:
Hello ladies. We managed to catch the 3rd little duckling!!! After making a phone call followed by a trip to medivet, I ended up driving them to The Essex Wildlife Hospital. We got home at 11.00pm. The vet reckoned they were a day old and have a very good chance of surviving.
This really was a good news story and it certainly brought all of us neighbours out to help. We spoke to people that we didn’t really know from the other end of the road and it was really great to see people joining together to help. I had never heard of the Essex Wildlife Hospital but since this I have looked them up and they will help with any injured wildlife and will not turn any wild animal away. Certainly an amazing charity and definitely helped with our Good News and its positive ending.
The ducklings were really gorgeous and we all hope that they enjoy their new home. Our neighbour just never gave up and I am sure that without her determination that poor duckling would not have had such a happy ending to its story.
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