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I would be very pleased with myself if I had taken the above photograph which I think is of a mallard duck family. But I do not know the name of the photographer. The image was found posted on a 'Usenet' archive back in 2000, but with no means to identify the originator. As for previous, similar images, should the photographer, whoever he or she is, wish that the image be removed, I would of course gladly do so. But with regret, because the image is splendid!

A mother duck tale that you might enjoy ~ as reported by Cameron Smith in the Toronto Star on August 11th 2001.

Canadian Press reported last month that a Vancouver mother duck grabbed a Vancouver police employee by the pant leg near the downtown area. Then having gained his attention, she waddled around him quacking, and finally moved to a sewer grate about 20 metres away and lay down.

When the man started to walk away, the duck chased after him, grabbed him by the pant leg again, quacked and returned to the sewer grate.

By now curious, the man went to the grate and saw eight ducklings in the water below. He called the police; they called a tow truck to remove the grate; and then one by one, they lifted the ducklings out with a vegetable strainer.

The mother duck watched patiently until the last duckling was safe and then marched her brood down to a nearby creek and swam away.

Cameron thinks that the duck was capable of reasoning, and I certainly have to agree.

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