Duck, Duckling, Dolphin

I recently read a book titled Dolphin Parenting by Dr Kimi Shang. It was an antidote to the Tiger Parenting by Amy Chua book. Dolphins are intelligent, social and playful creatures, and therefore, we must model our behaviors after them is the gist of the book.

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Art work by Daughter

Nature provides us with amazing parenting models every now and then.  Spring time is especially wonderful as this is the time for new life, a transformation of sorts. The butterflies are out and about, snail-lings venture forth, squirrels come out of their hibernation, eggs hatch and, in general all of life is abuzz with beauty and purpose. One day on a walk near our local lake park, I noticed Mrs Duck go to her nest, and Mr Duck gave her a nod as if to say, “Go on dear, I’ll ensure no one disturbs you.” Mr Duck then went on to aggressively protective their little nesting area by quacking loudly and doing sentry duty.

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Just in time for Earth Day, the ducklings have hatched, and they look beautiful. There is something in the innocent, puzzled looks on their little fuzzy bodies that tugs your heart. Of course, it is amazing to see Mr & Mrs Duck take care of them. I can watch them for hours. How they slowly introduce their young to the big, bad world; how they watch their little ones play for hours; and how they only intervene when important,  is a lesson in parenting for us.

They take them gingerly out into the shallow waters first, then as their little bodies grow stronger, take them for longer fishing trips. They teach them how to cross the road – the ducklings are protectively looked after by Papa & Mama Ducks. The parents in front and the rear, the line is a marvel. The noisy bunch then head on towards wherever they are going. I don’t know how disciplined the ducklings are when they grow up, but when babies, it is an adorable sight to see them toeing the line obediently and happily. 

It is that time of year to read Robert McCloskey’s adorable book, Make Way For Ducklings.

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The books starts off with Mr & Mrs Duck looking for a place to live and raise their babies. They fly great distances before they arrive at a little island that looks just right.

There, the ducklings hatch and the conscientious parents are busy in providing for the young, teaching them to survive in a tough world, and learn to be independent. 

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Once they are strong enough to swim longer distances, it is time to move to a bigger island, that involves a few perilous road crossings. Who should come to their rescue but the local policemen?

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A heart-warming tale that I can read any time for a quick dose of sunshine. Illustrated in a simple brown ink, it is a wonderful book for Parent Ducks and Ducklings alike.

I remember being amused and amazed when I first came to the United States on seeing Duck-Xing signs. Coming from India, where traffic flows on, and people cross on and share the road with dogs, cows and goats (nobody particularly stopping or giving precedence to another); it was wonderful to see that the traffic did not only stop for pedestrians crossings, but for ducks as well.

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