The Pat Rothfuss Escort Service.

Today I was driving downtown and I saw a momma duck walking down the middle of the street with six little baby ducks following her. Downtown Stevens Point isn’t really a bustling place, but there’s still two lanes of traffic, and she was walking right down the center line.

I did a quick job of parallel parking, which turned out even more lousy than my usual. Then I hopped out of the car and made sure that they got out of the road okay.

The babies were still really young. They still had their baby fluff, and were smaller than tennis balls. Mom was taking small steps to they could keep up, and they were all trucking along to keep up with her, none of them ever falling behind by more than a foot and a half.

The other thing I noticed is that if she stopped moving, all of them sat down immediately. They did it in unison, six little duck butts hitting the pavement all at once. Then when mom started going again, they all bobbed back to their feet and started following her again.

Momma duck eventually headed off the road to the sidewalk and hopped up the curb. I was surprised that the baby ducks could make it up there too. But they did, bouncing up a sheer wall three times taller than they were. It was really cute. Hallmark cute.

I walked with them the five or six blocks to the river, stopping traffic when they needed to cross the road. I thought I might need to herd them too, but momma duck knew where she was going, and I only had to steer once to keep her going the right direction.

That said, she really didn’t like having me around and made it clear whenever I got too close. She would snap her beak, and the feathers on the top of her head stood up. I had no doubt that were I to cross some invisible line, she would bring all sorts of momma-duck wrath of god down on me.

A lot of the drivers I stopped of didn’t care for me much either, and their mouths made similar snapping motions behind their windshields when I stepped in front of their cars and held out my hand for them to stop. Luckily, this is something I can do with incredible authority. I worked in a parking ramp one summer, and that was the skill I carried away. I can stop a car at thirty feet with a hand gesture no matter what the driver might think of me.

However, people didn’t stay pissed for long. Once they saw what I was doing, everyone was full of smiles and willing to help. I believe, given the chance, the vast majority of people are eager to do the right thing. I believe that people are good, and that most of the ugliness in the world comes from folks being thoughtless, or misinformed, or simply inattentive to the world around them. No one willingly runs over baby ducks, but it happens all the time because people aren’t careful.

Sometimes you need someone to step out in front of you and say, “No. Stop. Look at this thing that’s about to happen. Think about what you’re doing. Attend. Be mindful.” Whatever you call this impulse, I have a great deal of it, and it’s constantly leading me to step out in front of moving cars. Metaphorically speaking.

Everything said, it took about an hour for me to escort the ducks to the river, and the milk that I’d left in my car got hot from sitting in the sun too long. But the truth is this: walking those ducks to the river was the best time I’ve had in months. Maybe longer. I felt good afterwards, better than I’ve felt in a long time.

It’s strange for me to admit this, but a lot of my life has felt very hollow lately. Many of my days are not particularly good days, though I would be hard pressed to explain why this is the case.

I’ve had fun, don’t get me wrong, but a lot of it has been fun like eating one of those giant Pixy Stix. It’s great while you’re doing it, but afterward, you don’t really feel…. good. It’s not a substantial experience.

I need to think on this. If an hour spent helping some ducks feels like the most worthwhile thing I’ve done in a months, I probably need to re-examine my life.

That’s all for now folks. Have fun, but look out for ducks while you’re doing it. And if someone steps in front of you and holds up their hand for you to stop, you might want to slow down whatever you’re doing and have a second look around, just in case.



This entry was posted in babies, baby ducks, day in the lifeBy Pat57 Responses


  1. Jason
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Hmm. An interesting and thoughtful post.

  2. San
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    That’s so sweet of you!My uncle once stopped to let a duck and her five babies cross the road. Unfortunately, Mrs Duck waddled over a sewer grate on the road. When my uncle saw one of the ducklings fall in, he jumped out of his car and managed to save two of the others. Mrs Duck was pretty angry at him for touching her offspring, but he was just glad he saved those two from a pretty ugly death.

  3. pangalactic
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Pat, you are a gentlemen and a philosopher. Kudos.

  4. Michael Natale
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    You said:“I need to think on this. If an hour spent helping some ducks feels like the most worthwhile thing I’ve done in a months, I probably need to re-examine my life.”Sometimes a moment like this can really stand out in contrast against the meaningless details of everyday life that we all deal with.Still – you should take into account how your work has positively affected the people who have read NOTW, and all the people you will reach in the future.How many people has NOTW inspired to dream? To try their hand at writing for the first time? To read?Maybe its as simple as YOUR words providing some escape from the unsatisfying drudgery everyday life can sometimes become.That isn’t as easily identifiable as saving a group of ducklings is when you’re there watching them waddle to safety in part because of you.But its pretty awesome and not something everyone can lay claim to have been part of.

  5. Kellye L. Parish
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

    You might not feel like your life is real substantial right now in the crazy whirlwind world of instant celebrity, but after reading your book I know that you are wrong. You are definitely a moving force for good in the world. That’s more than a lot of people can say about themselves. The fact that you took an hour out of your day to walk baby ducks to safety rocks my socks. I just had a friend die of cancer last week, so I’ve been pretty down too. I know how you feel.

  6. Jay Belt
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    Pat, michael natale pretty much hits the nail on the head.Between your book and your blog I’ve been one of those ducks you inspired to get me interested in picking up the writing pen again.Except that the pen is a keyboard.And I’m not picking up keyboard. I’m typing on it.But anyway, just saying, you move ducks everyday Pat. Human shaped ducks.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    I think you just earned a whole lot of good karma for your next life, both by the actual effort and the telling of it to many people. I shepherd insects out my house instead of squashing them. It celebrates the continuance of life. And that is a very positive thing.Sengei Tawn

  8. Cuppa Jo
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    Like Wysen said, human shaped ducks. Flocks of ’em. Not only have I reveled in all three times I’ve read NOTW, but I have met new friends and re-bonded with some old ones because of our mutual adoration for your work. And I do not doubt that every single person who saw you herding Momma and baby ducks was touched on some level too. So here’s a big hug and a resounding QUACK of thanks!

  9. wildtheories
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    Pat, don’t forget, that you bring so much joy to so many people by writing on your book!You really should feel good every day!Still – cool about the ducklings and telling us :-)Cheers

  10. Mary J.
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Considered yourself hugged!

  11. Brandon
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat, you are now (rather you like it or not) a public persona as such your comments can be taken in many ways, while I sympathize and understand that life is not always the most satisfying, when you say you aren’t feeling well, I don’t feel so good either. Think Devi in the scene where she sews Kvothe up after his brush with Ambrose’s assassins. I have a soft spot for melancholic personalities, and men brave enough to have a beard your size in terrorist obsessed America, but I along with the rest of your fanship are invested in you. So please at the behest of a total stranger, herd more ducks or do whatever you have to do, but stay on an even relatively happy keel. I, even though desperate for the next installment in your saga would advise some downtime or some such, I doubt your publishers (who have a more concrete investment in you) are as lenient, which you are undoubtedly aware of, so I use the mention of it not to be cruel, but merely as the means to remind you that by writing such a fantastic book and promising more you have placed yourself in a kind of bond with many complete strangers, some of whom might make a post like this for desperate lack of anything useful or uplifting to say, yet with the in ability to say nothing after reading of your hopefully minor case of overdose from Pixy Stix consumption. By the way, in case you failed to glean this fact from the above rambling, you wrote a (positive adjectives fail to describe) book. Thank you

  12. Anonymous
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    hey dont you ever forget who you are ! everyone with a heart beat has the power to make an impact on the world and you sir saved my life simply by writing a book that i read while i was down and making me want to know what would happen next at a time in my life when id forgotten how to dream tht the future may exist !

  13. JAIMO
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    PAT ROTHFUSS! You are a kind and compassionate person. Repeat the following: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” IT IS THE TRUTH! I watch and read your interviews, not just as a fan of NOTW, but to try and get a glimpse of the real Pat Rothfuss. The Pat that I glean from these interviews seems to be the sort of person I would want to be friends with, regardless of the best selling author status. I am guessing all this new fame would make one sit back and say to oneself “these people only like the book…they think they like me, but they don’t even know the real me.” I can say with some surety that if we were co-workers at some menial job, we would get along famously, and become friends quickly. (And I am a man of few friends–mostly because I find people are, as you say “thoughtless, or misinformed, or simply inattentive to the world around them.” and these people I try to avoid like the plague.) BUCK-UP LITTLE CAMPER! You are not alone in this world! (and you’ve helped me to remember that I’m not alone either. Thanks!)

  14. Steve
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    I think everyone struggles with this to some degree, especially those who are successful, or currently “at the top of their game.” You hear about pro athletes all the time who say “there has to be more to life than this,” when they are sitting on top of the world. In the end, awards, blogs and fans telling you how awesome you are is great, but it doesn’t fill the hollow feeling. In fact, I think it may exacerbate it. Someone once asked Billy Graham how he could stay focused when so many other ministers ended up in disgrace. He said it was because he had a group of friends who would tell him when he was being an ass (paraphrase mine) and not tell him how fantastic he was. Surround yourself with friends who love you just for being Pat, don’t listen to folks who think your farts smell like roses, and realize there’s more to you than just NOTW and you should be fine.Good luck.

  15. Elizabeth
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    Maybe you just need a little break (despite what your editor tells you!). I’ve spent a considerable amount of time working on a novel for the past nine months. One day it occurred to me that the people I knew the best and spent the most amount of time with weren’t real, except in my head. It was an isolating realization! I went out and signed up for the first volunteer opportunity I found compelling. Volunteering felt important and real–like escorting six cute, fuzzy ducklings to the lake. Writing is like any other job. Sometimes you need a vacation. But as your fans posting here (and the number of books you’ve sold) bear witness: your writing does matter and to many people.

  16. marky
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

    A couple of nights ago I was giving my cat his daily belly rubs. He was stretched out and purring loudly. It was a moment of overwhelming cuteness that I have experienced many times. This time though, in a moment of melancholy, I felt compelled to tell the wee man I loved him. Weird and sappy I know. However, it gave me a strange feeling of happiness knowing that he could not answer back. I figured that it was one of those times were you just want to share an unconditional moment of sentiment. I think your duck story’s a bit like that. I might be way out the ballpark with this, but it seems to me you helped the ducks, not looking to gain anything from it, other than mother and children safely home, and it gave you the same kind of satisfaction. In our busy lives, we tend to rush around and not stop to really, truly appreciate what we might give to others. An I love you here, or a helpful hand there, is always a beautiful thing. When we do get to stop and suck it all in, it is inevitably followed with the “why isn’t my life filled with these moments” thoughts. With great highs, comes a great low. I am going to really enjoy the little slices of love from now on and I suggest you keep examining these feelings and write, damn you, write! Even if it is a why did the duck cross the road story. I apologise for the soppy post. I am off to hug my girlfriend, cat, friends and anybody else I can grab! :-)

  17. Hilary
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    The opportunity to enjoy truly simple pleasures is rarer than one would expect. Roll in it like a dog in a bad smell.

  18. dani
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

    You’re a good man. Your story reminded me of.., volunteering is fun. Especially if you can convince friends to do it with you.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    Good on you Mr. Rothfuss. Too often we see something happening and get swept up in what we’re doing, shake our heads and move on. It takes a lot to stop and get involved. Stories like this are a good reminder – we’re all in this together.– Sean

  20. Ali
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    Dear PatLove your book, read it in 6 hours flat.I hope i’ll get to read more soon (i dont mind later as long as i do get to).Take careYour fan in London

  21. krighton
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 10:12 PM | Permalink

    how about not trying a career change to the Peace corp until book 3 and maybe a couple sequels are published…thanks

  22. Arevanye
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 11:08 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for being a good person, Pat.

  23. Laura
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 11:44 PM | Permalink

    The world is a lot bigger than awards and publicity. I certainly don’t mean to disregard awards and publicity — they can be good things, and they can be earned with a justified sense of accomplishment. But Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Marlowe, they’re all just as dead as that guy who directed “Killers from Space.”We’re not temporal beings. We shouldn’t live our lives as if we were.I think it’s a good thing that you can recognize both the need for a duck escort and the need to look for bigger things.

  24. elizabeth lavelle
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    That hollow feeling? Your mom died last year. That leaves a big hollow space, because a large chunk of your personal universe is missing. Forever, but gradually it becomes less problematic. (My dad died about 5 years ago.) Which is not to say shun introspection, but do make allowances . . .A friend and I rescued a mama wood duck with a couple of dozen ducklings. It’s one of the best-feeling things I’ve done in my life. They were stuck at the drive-thru bank, across a busy street from the pond where they lived. We rushed home, grabbed a cardboard box, and rushed back to herd ducklings into the box. As soon as we had them all in the box, the mama flew across to the pond, and we followed her there with the carton.Two ducklings fell through a grate into the storm drain (stupid human engineers!), so we went to a nearby business, borrowed a pry bar, and popped open the drain cover. I climbed down into the storm drain and did my best to peep like the mama duck. This happened years ago, but I can still see the ducklings running along the concrete pipe towards me. Every time they hit a puddly spot, they’d automatically switch from running to swimming. I caught them, and we took them to the pond. (A couple of drunk women from the nearby bar wanted to take the ducklings home with them, but we managed dissuade them.)

  25. Captain Joe
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

    Pat…You had me at hello.Good work with the ducks – we’re all smart enough to know what would’ve happened without the gentle caress of Rothfuss.You, sir, win the Captain Joe Award for Most Kickass Good Deed – 2008.Also, while we’re at it, the Captain Joe Award for Most Kickass Novel of the Century… 2008. That one comes with a complimentary clock.All the best,joe

  26. invanderkoeck
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

    hi pat,would you mind if i quoted you? This is really good, insightful stuff.Hope you’re doing good!

  27. unique_stephen
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

    I wonder if baby crocodiles do the same?

  28. Jason F
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 3:44 AM | Permalink

    Hope the fulfillment aspect of life comes back soon. I played baseball growing up so I know something about streaks. I have been writing alot lately too so I have come to know even more. Good job on the ducks. I live off a canal on long island and have seen a similar procession like the one you helped on their way. Just keep on keepin’ on, the hits will come again. If they dont just wear your socks inside out, I went 4-5 with two homeruns once when I did that. And if that fails then remember how many people adore your book and can’t wait to read TWMF.

  29. Sedulo
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 4:11 AM | Permalink

    Hey, remember the book “Make Way For Ducklings”? I love that book. Thanks for the wonderful images in your post, I have been out sick from work for almost two weeks and that really warmed me up and helped me not to worry so much.Sometimes it is difficult for me to keep the rich and meaningful moments in life from getting squished by big balloony anxieties. Go ducks!

  30. Pat
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 4:19 AM | Permalink

    Ivander: What do you mean, exactly?

  31. Summer
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 5:30 AM | Permalink

    I am firmly of the belief that anyone who writes descriptions that make the minstrels weep, or at least the readers stop and think, should not be allowed to be unhappy. Ever. Ever, ever, ever. This is kind of a petty view, though … Maybe you’re right, and actively doing something to help people would fill some of that hollow space again? I wouldn’t know, I’m hopeless with things like that. Not sure why I’m still bothering to type, come to think of it. Ah well.

  32. black Sunshine
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 5:42 AM | Permalink

    your post made me think about this song / video: LOVE this video :-)

  33. Dischord
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Pat is indeed full of awesome.

  34. Kalligenia
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    Quack.You continue to amaze me on so many levels. Can’t wait to see you at GenCon!

  35. Kassandra
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    Until I read this post, I knew you are a wonderfull storyteller – and I always just wanted to tell you: Thank you for writing!But now I am sure that you are as wonderful as your book! So I want to tell you: Thank you for being the way you are!

  36. Judy
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    ok – this is going to sound incredible dorky, but I mean it. You say that there is something wrong / missing from your life if you finally find fulfillment from something as simple as herding ducks. Me?? I am of the view that nature is a simplistic yet wonderous thing, and that ANY time you can spend watching, admiring, slowing down your life (remember your own analogy about stopping cars) and just appreciating what IS is time better spent than pretty much anything else in this world. We all run around WAY to much in this life, and forget that in so many ways simpler is waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy better than the complicated mess we make of ourselves.In short? You view it as a fault that you finally found fulfillment this way. I say instead that it is a positive statement about yourself that A) you saw the opportunity and B) grabbed it with both hands. This truly says something wonderful about you, Pat. After all, as you so eloquently pointed out – how many of the other drivers would have seen or done the same??Twist your thoughts around Pat – this is truly a benefical thing. :o)

  37. Thad
    Posted August 2, 2008 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

    Yeah, I’d have to agree with Judy and the others. Lemme put it this way. Everyone wants to be Superman, but few of us can see the opportuntiy to use our powers when the chance presents itself. You did. Just having the mindset open to doing good for no other reason but “doing good” is a feat unto itself. remember, tho, that even Superman get’s bored being back in the necktie and spectacles. But that’s what most of life is…

  38. Jessica
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 12:20 AM | Permalink

    I hear you, Pat. Thanks for the post. And thanks for saving the little duckies. And especially thanks for getting the attention of all those drivers, and everyone who read this one. As I think you know I have a less positive outlook about humanity, but I guess I do agree that most people would rather do something good, if there’s no real loss to themselves. As far as the meaninglessness of life…well I tend to think it’s meaningless. But that it’s better for humans to come up with some way to pretend there’s meaning. And maybe that ends up being more than pretend? I don’t know.Well anyway thanks for the thoughtful post.

  39. logankstewart
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 1:46 AM | Permalink

    wow, Pat, what an amazing post. I enjoy learning about you and how you think (not in that crazy, creepy, stalker way, but in that way where one person gets to know another person and see that they’re not alone in the world) and that you are indeed…normal. Excellent, Pat.

  40. Gail
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 4:06 AM | Permalink

    I think you may be mixing up a simple enjoyment with fulfillment. Saving baby creatures feels very good, very pure and simple. But life is mostly filled with mundane moments. We spend most of our time doing what we always do to live, whether we eat or shop or work or shower… Sometimes we fall into a rhythm and forget to appreciate the world and the gifts we already have.It’s a good time to think about your food while you eat it, or the walk you are taking, or the people you are with. How do you like them? Are you blessed to have them?Maybe that’s the kind of examination you had in mind…

  41. I. M. Bitter
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Um yeah, it would help if I could proof read my comments before posting… thank goodness for delete options. :)***********I just searched for Book 2 @ Barnes & (so I could buy it, I’ve been salivating for August to come for a VERY long time) and realized that the publishing date got pushed back again. :( That’s probably the reason that you’re feeling a bit melancholy.Here’s hoping you find many baby ducks waddling through your life in the near future! :)

  42. Kip, BUFFALO!!!!
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    Due to the previous chastisement about my harsh language and views of people I am not going to say anything about the previous poster not knowing the date the 2nd book will be published, but instead I will glare at his post. I will also refrain from making jokes about the fine dinner Pat saved for someone in the future. I know what you mean about the Hollow life feeling. I tend to fill mine with Gaming and Friends, But still sometimes at the end of the day I feel lonely. Tell Sara to do her job and entertain you (not in any sick way, that’s not what I’m getting at, before anyone here chastises me, and not in any Chauvanistic way either, that’s just what I feel someone’s parner’s job is, to help them when they are down).Congrats on the Ducks, Massive Karma points for you Pat, all you need to do is help one old lady across the street and you can feed a small child through a woodchipper with very little Karmic backlash.

  43. Meredith
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    Isn’t this what life is really about? It really made my day to read your post. I like to believe people are generally good people and only a set of circumstances make them not nice.Acts like this, making sure baby ducks get through the street safely, is truly worth while. I want to thank you.

  44. Camila
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

    Pat, I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog over the last few months. I especially appreciate your longer story posts with a little more literary flair(like this one, or when you write about your dreams). As I read your comments about how hollow you feel lately, I felt like I should step in front of you and hold up my hand to stop you so you could take a look at this: these things makes my life feel complete. I hope it helps you.Your huge fan

  45. melisa
    Posted August 6, 2008 at 12:57 AM | Permalink

    That’s wonderful of you! Once driving somewhere in New England a wild turkey (huge!) ran out in middle of the road. It was dinged by one car, so I immediately pulled over and ran back to chase the turkey out of the road. Well just as I reached the turkey a tractor trailer came along. Lots of feathers. Lots of tears.

  46. heartfully-cai
    Posted August 6, 2008 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    Hey! Just had to say through a very roudabout way (a Jaqueline Carey fanforum to be exact) I found out about your book, checked out your website and on a whim decided to check out your blog. This was the first post I read and I knew I had to read more! So I’ve spent the last couple days reading through your archives, now I”m off to buy NOTW! \o/ I know exactly what you mean and I’ve been feeling it for awhile. I’ve decided to try college again and see how it goes. *fingers crossed*

  47. Anonymous
    Posted August 6, 2008 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

    The problem is, it made you realize your life is not your own anymore.Helping the duckies brought back nostalgia for the good old days when you were just an ordinary person.However, there really are no “good old days”.Lesson: Every once in awhile, do something ordinary.

  48. ripshin
    Posted August 7, 2008 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    I’m a little late posting this, but I can’t believe nobody’s mentioned “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey.Surely I’m not the only one here with little kids…rip

  49. I. M. Bitter
    Posted August 8, 2008 at 2:32 AM | Permalink

    Kip, BUFFALO!!!! :)I’m a <>her<> not a him. *grin*Also, thank you for somewhat withholding your rant, not all of us fanatical fans follow Pat’s blog fanatically. I hadn’t known the reasons behind the books’ delay until I read the blog posts a moment ago.My little sister (age 23) died a slow painful death from liver cancer two years ago, so I can definitely understand how the prolonged illness and death of a close loved one can impact life.That said, I fail to understand how my previous comment could cause offense. I suggested that Pat might be feeling down because the publishing of Book 2 had been delayed. I read something (a facebook or blog post?) last January that said Book 2 had been pushed back to August of 08. That’s what I was basing my post on. Anyway, you’re just being < HREF="" REL="nofollow"> trollish… <> and I henceforth ignore you.*****Still hoping that you are doing better Pat.

  50. MR
    Posted August 8, 2008 at 2:48 AM | Permalink

    Mr. Rothfuss! We have both taught at a university, we both write novels (you more successfully than I) and we both are fans of Robin Hobb. And now I find we are both dedicated wildlife escorts. My last wildlife escort session wasn’t cute ducks, though. It was a snapping turtle. A BIG one. One who really wanted to sleep in the middle of the road. I’d never met a snapping turtle before. Boy, they can really snap. He bit my “gently encourage a turtle off the road” tool (a stick) and broke it. But I finally got him off the road, thanks to a couple who stopped to help me (one of whom kept yelling “He’s got a long neck ya know . . .don’t get bit! He can take off your finger!”)Next time I hope for baby ducks to assist.In any case, keep helping those who need your help, even if they snap at you. And remember that writing books can escort someone to safety, too. Certainly books have done that for me.

  51. Anonymous
    Posted August 8, 2008 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    YOUR life feels quite hollow? How do you think we feel????? I’ve just finished reading one of the most thought-provoking and enjoyable books I’ve read in years, and now I’ve got to wait years for the story to finish!!!! Stephen King left us on a manic train for 5 years before he finished the Dark Tower series, and I didn’t really mind that….. but waiting for the NOTW is such delicious agony, torture, anticipation, fear, excitement, trepidation…… I can’t stand it!!! But if you can spend an hour looking after ducks (crispy fried, with pancakes comes to mind) I guess it will do me good to ensure that I stay alive until the story finishes. I once saw a mother duck commit infanticide by leading her brood down to the weir on the river in London and just paddle back unconcerned…..

  52. xopher-vh
    Posted August 13, 2008 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

  53. Hewhoiswithoutsin
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    Just as I were combing your blog for news on book two in what has become an almost monthly stocktake of upcoming fun, and just as I were starting to feel irritated at such news being omitted… I find you are friend to the ducksAnd a friend to the ducks can take as long as he likes because there are plenty of more important things that one needs to be doing.Like helping ducks.Fact.

  54. Pat
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Lovely. Our first troll. I think I’ll try to nip this in the bud.

  55. Nicole
    Posted July 21, 2009 at 2:02 AM | Permalink

    It’s so nice to see that Make Way for Ducklings can happen in real life, too. And, from the comments here, that I am not the only one who knows and loves the book. I grew up with that book and firmly believe that it’s the source of my love for animals.

    So often we’re confronted with the harsh truth that real life is not like what we learned in stories growing up, with people who care and go out of their way to help. Your story, among others in the comment thread, is a nice reaffirmation that there are nice people out there. ^_^

  56. Posted September 5, 2018 at 3:55 PM | Permalink


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