Nov 13, 2007

Lemming Ducks

Well finally there is some good news in life. I have one last day left in posting. More importantly, though I apparently did so by the skin of my teeth, I've pasted this posting!

Now it's come at a cost. I'm starting to develop a nasty head cold, and been stressed to the point of less than 5 hours sleep a few times. If not for the turning point of that good news today I'd probably give up on life. To illustrate how I live in Murphyzarro (that's my new term for Murphy's law mixed with Bizarro world) let's look at my walk home from school today (after recieving this good news... the universe needs to remind me whose in charge).

As I approach the Leith (aka aqueduct enclosed stream) bridge I have to cross to get home I see on the other side a elderly woman trying to herd a group of lost Ducklings. As it's spring here in New Zealand we have a lot of cute little Mallard chicks running after their mothers. Well this group has clearly lost their mommy and is desperate to find her...

Seeing how this good willed woman is having trouble with them, and as of such just stressing and freaking them out I step in to help her out. I hope Shannon Helm is reading this little story as it is proof of one of my major beliefs in life.

"No good deed goes unpunished!"

So stepping in with I take charge of the flock of cute little down balls. Armed with the ideal duck herding tool my umbrella I set about my task of trying to get them out of at least harms way, and maybe find mommy.

The problem their up on street level of a major road with no where immediately to go but the sidewalk or the road (to get promptly run over). I opt to herd them back across the bridge's sidewalk and onto a side street running parallel to the Leith. After a few close calls of a duckling or two running away from me sideways into the road I get them on the side street. PHEW! I think...

Here it at first just seems to be a big, but not life threatening problem. We're still 3 metres above the Leith, and the artificial banks here are initially straight up and down walls. I aim to get my little flock down further to where are least the walls slope at a 45 degree angle down to the stream.

About 2 metres down the side street some of my flock suddenly duck (get it) under the fence onto the precipice of the sheer 3 metre wall. They fortunately stop seeing what is for them a 3-4 storey fall straight down. I try to reach my umbrella in front of them, but yet keep my body back so they'll run back under the fence and back onto the sidewalk.

That's when disaster strikes! Mother shows up down below in the river under the bridge (the opposite direction from safe slanted wall section) calling her babies who she realized has a big scary human looming over them...

For a moment I think it's okay my 3 stray wall sitters double take the fall, and hesitate. Just as I'm about to let out the sigh of relief one of them jumps. The other two follow nearly immediately. My heart literally stops.

From behind me the nice lady who got my attention earlier says "oh good their flying down to the river." Just as number 4 leaps off the top to plummet the 10 feet to the ground. I can assure you seeing its fall well from this vantage they didn't fly...

Dashing to my last three who are on the other side of a big flax plant I swore to arrive to watch them all throw themselves over the edge.

Now the tale doesn't have the worst ending it could. Apart from number 4 (who took a running start, and thus fell further out from the wall) I couldn't see their landings making me think I'd just killed a whole family of ducks (not outright dead mind you, but mortally wounded). Thankfully they slowly started walking back into view from the bottom of the wall (which I can't quite see the bottom of due to the fence).

However there was some damage. At least two of them had bad limps, and one of these I'm certain broke its leg based on its stopped every few step to sit down. Most however seemed okay.

There was nothing I could do about it. I still feel terrible. Clare and Rhonwyn on hearing the tale have tried to assure me that I probably saved some of them from being run over. Still my good intentions like a lot lately have become a lot more stressful and intense than it should have.

I just stand by my belief that no good deed goes unpunished. So the question why do I keep doing them?

1 comment:

Matt said...


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