The ride to work was going splendidly on this Monday morning. The wind was at my back. The sun was shining. Puffy white clouds were floating aimlessly above. The sunlight glistened off the river. It was so nice that I even could ignore the Lance Mamilots.
At 12 miles, just past the 14th Street Bridge underpass, the bikes ahead of me started veering this way and that. Then I saw it. A ducking. Alone. In the middle of the trail. Somehow, miraculously, unharmed by the bikes whizzing past.
I pulled over. And, with bikes now whizzing past me, I shooed (literally with my shoes!) the duckling to the grass on side of the path. I took a rather bad picture, then went back to my bike. I looked over my shoulder and the darn bird had waddled back onto the trail. I suppose it was following the path of least resistance, but still it was annoyingly determined to get itself killed.
Back I went to try again. Then a bike commuter pulled up. Her name is Veronica. She grew up on a farm and volunteers at an animal rescue place. Really. Could the Fates be more generous on a Monday morning?
I have a thing about handling animals so Veronica, who is not so disinclined, picked up the duckling. She pointed out that a duckling alone in the wild is pretty much doomed to be road kill or an hors d’oeurve for some larger critter. So off she went, duckling in hand, looking for mama duck.
Mama duck had fled the scene so Veronica started to try to figure out how to transport the duckling. This is not as easy as it seems. Then the Fates returned in the form of Linel. Linel normally comes to work much later but not today. Maybe the Fates whispered in her ears during her slumbers. “Get up, Linel. Go to work early. You are needed.”
Linel had a Rickshaw Backworks Pipsqueak (I kid you not) bag on her handlebars. It is the perfect size for a duckling. So she offered it to Veronica. Veronica attached the bag to the lateral chest strap of her small back pack and the duckling transport problem was solved.
And so the workweek began.