The snow has melted, the sun is shining, and people all around the world are going out of their way to prevent ducks from getting smashed by cars. These heroes are popping up everywhere, from the backroads of Texas to the bundesautobahns of Germany to help the families from meeting their doom. Why the need? The increased duck-themed heroics are due to timing. Spring is prime duck mating season and, as the duck gestation period is roughly 28 days, this leads to more ducklings on the road this time of year. And more ducklings means more opportunities to save them.
In Houston, a nameless hero was recently filmed releasing a family of ducks back into the wild, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Staten Island drivers were so determined to help a mama duck and her ducklings stuck on the side of the highway, they got out of their cars to get them to safety. And in possibly the best news story to come out of 2017, a German police officer used his own hat to assist a family of ducks that were spotted in traffic in Dortmund.
These stories are heartwarming for a number of very obvious reasons, but the biggest reason is they sound like they’ve been ripped from the pages of the beloved kid’s book Make Way for Ducklings. Robert McCloskey’s classic story tells the tale of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack traveling through Boston. The Mallards confront the dangers of traffic and crowds but are kept out of trouble thanks to some helpful humans. Life imitating art has never felt so good.