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Mama duck leads her ducklings through high school
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Elijah Chan
09.16.21

In a high school in Montana, a parent marched in with her kids in tow, but they’re not here for enrollment, parent-teacher conference, or a school board meeting.

In Bozeman High School, a mother duck took to heart Robert McCloskey’s famous book “Make Way For Ducklings”. Only this time, the family of ducks is not traversing famous Bostonian landmarks.


YouTube Screenshot - RM Videos
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - RM Videos

In a video posted on YouTube, the mother duck struts confidently through the doors with a bunch of curious little ducklings following closely behind.

According to the school, mallards sometimes hatch eggs in the school’s enclosed courtyard. The ducks are so accustomed to this place that they even know how to “knock”.


YouTube Screenshot - RM Videos
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - RM Videos

Erica Schnee, a high school assistant principal, shared that the mother duck taps on the courtyard door with her bill and would not stop until someone opens the door for her.

As they orderly marched through the hallways, teachers and students alike took out their phones to record the spectacle.


YouTube Screenshot - RM Videos
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - RM Videos

Some of them were hiding their laughter but most of them are visibly amused by their visitor.

The curious ducklings, however, waddled close to their mother. It’s a brave new world now compared to the courtyard they grew up in.

They said that this annual ritual takes place when the mallard mother makes her way to the nearby Mandeville Creek on the other side of the school building.


YouTube Screenshot - RM Videos
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - RM Videos

In another instance, faculty members and school staff cleared the way for the ducks just like how the Boston police helped the mallard family in McCloskey’s illustrated storybook.

Schnee mentioned to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that this has been going on for at least six years. The mother duck might’ve felt safe within the confines of the school grounds as it’s free from predators and is a reliable shelter from the elements.

But despite being around for that long, mama duck can still get a bit lost on the way to the school’s main doors.


YouTube Screenshot - RM Videos
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - RM Videos

In this video, she was seen veering towards a room, only to stop by the entrance when she realized that nothing inside resembled a creek.

In the end, the mallard family exits the school and starts their new life by Mandeville Creek.

If you think this event is unusual, a similar pilgrimage happened in a school all the way up north in Canada. In Gary Allan High School in Ontario.


YouTube - Richard Holt
Source:
YouTube - Richard Holt

The school’s annual duck walk takes on the same story with a mallard mother laying eggs in the school’s interior courtyard.

YouTube - Richard Holt
Source:
YouTube - Richard Holt

The duck walk is so common in Gary Allan that they included the ducks on their school’s website as well. It almost became part of the school’s annual ritual together with book fairs, pep rallies, and graduation.

If the ducks at Bozeman High School will receive this kind of popularity, we’ll never know. But we sure do hope that come next year, these mallard families will do their annual march to the creek and remind us about resilience, adaptability, and perseverance.

Watch how this adorable mallard family puts a school on pause whenever they march to the nearby creek.

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By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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