Thursday, December 18, 2008


Yesterday we went to the Zoo to see the Wildlights exhibit and indoor animals. We left the Aquarium building, the bulk of our visit ended, and headed towards the entrance. I pushed Elisheva in the double stroller, while Avram held Lydia, whom we had not yet placed in the stroller. Next to a Santa's sleigh photo opportunity, a duck fell out of the sky.

Yes, a duck fell out of the sky and hit against me, flapping a couple of times and then falling into the stroller, in Lydia's vacated seat. I screamed instinctively, and the good mothering instinct woman I am, I pushed the stroller away from me.

The duck settled down, and sat calmly in our stroller, while Elisheva also sat calmly, not even reacting. I overcame my momentary panic and went up to the stroller. The Santa's sleigh helpers came over, and had me remove Elisheva while they encouraged the duck to leave the stroller. The mallard (for it was male, with its green shiny feathered neck) hopped awkwardly out and down onto the pavement - where we could clearly see that its foot or leg was broken. It couldn't fly, but just half hopped a few paces.

Looking back in my stroller, there was duck blood in Lydia's seat. Yes, duck blood. The Santa's picture woman went to the restroom and brought back paper towels to clean up the blood, while Santa's picture man called security. She told me we would want to do a more thorough cleaning later, as quite a bit of blood had soaked into the seat.

My shock turned to sadness as I looked at the duck that had dropped into my life a moment before. In the wild, an injury is a death sentence. Now I feared that somehow I had hit the duck too hard (giving it its injury), and the security would come and collect the duck and go wring its neck quietly somewhere else, like the Giver book with misfit people.

Eventually a ranger came (I couldn't bear and leave the duck until I at least knew a little more of its fate) and took the duck away in a box to the vet on duty. I figure that of all the places to have a bloody run-in with a duck (although Santa's picture people think the duck was injured before it fell into our stroller), a zoo would be the best place, with built in vets and everything. Plus I know they keep ducks in some exhibits; maybe our stumpy duck can join them.

I just wish I could find out the fate of our onetime anatine companion - I hope he lives still. That and I wish I had had my camera with me. I'm also eternally grateful that Lydia was neither in the stroller at the time nor that the duck had landed on Elisheva.


  1. OK that is the FUNNIEST thing that could have happened. To Thora!!! you are awesome. I specially loved how you "pushed" your stroller away with your offspring in it.. lol. love it!

  2. This is hilarious. And um, like the zoo people, I would guess that there was already something wrong with the duck given that he fell onto you from the sky. I don't think that is normal duck behavior. Even in the zoo.

  3. note to self... dont read thora's blog while holding preston who has just barely drifted off to nurse induced slumber. i couldnt help myself and had a little chuckle that turned into a laugh and startled my poor babe awake. i am sorry you got blood on the stroller nad i do hope you can get it out. and my what a shock that must have been to have a duck fall on you!! oh dang there i go laughing again.. ( sorry preston)

  4. What an adventure! Sheesh.

    My favorite parts, though, were the "Santa's picture woman" "Santa's picture man" and "Santa's picture people" who helped you out. That and your "onetime anatine companion." :)

  5. Wow! That really was crazy but, as you said, it could have been much worse so it turned into a good story without all the disaster aspects.

  6. What is it with birds? I had one (a crow) fly into my car this summer. And no, not like it hit my car. Like it flew through the open driver's side window and landed on the passenger seat.

    (I reacted similarly to you, stopping my car in the middle of the road and jumping out yelling.)