Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, July 24, 2000

The best home for the Wood Duck family


Mr. and Mrs. Billy Wood Duck live in Minnesota during the summer months. In the winter, they fly south where it is warmer.

When spring returns, the Wood Ducks fly back to Minnesota. What a trip they had this year!

Mr. and Mrs. Wood Duck started out on the trip with the rest of the ducks in their neighborhood. There were about 100 families traveling together.

As night fell, the group looked for a large place to land where they could spend the night. If they could not see a good place, they had to keep on flying until they found one.

Then, it started to rain. It became very windy and the ducks soon realized they had flown into a big storm. They had to find a place to come down, out of the sky, right away.

The only place they could see that would be big enough for everyone to land was a lake. They landed, and the waves on the lake were so big that they washed the ducks right up onto the shore.

Mrs. Wood Duck hurt her leg when she hit the shoreline, and some of the other ducks were also hurt or feeling sick.

The ducks that felt all right set out to find food for everyone as soon as the storm was over. They located a corn field nearby, and they helped all the ducks move over to it.

The ducks ate and ate. They stayed in the cornfield for a few days, till everyone was feeling better. Then, they continued on their flight to Minnesota.

As soon as they arrived in their summer home, the ducks set about building nests.

Mrs. Wood Duck laid six eggs in her nest. Then, she sat on the eggs and waited for them to hatch.

About six weeks later, Mrs. Wood Duck walked out to the lake, followed by six little baby ducks. Soon, several other mother ducks joined her on the lake with their babies.

The summer passed and all of the little ducks became excellent swimmers. Mr. and Mrs. Wood Duck's children became very good friends with a little girl who liked to come to the lake to play with them.

When fall came and the Wood Duck family prepared to leave for the warm south, the young ducks had become very fat from all of the treats the little girl brought to the lake for them.

Mrs. Wood Duck said, "You had better practice flying, little ducks. It is almost time to leave for our trip to the south."

"Oh, we are not going with you," the young ducks said. "The little girl has built a house for us and she feeds us every day so we don't have to work so hard to find food. And we don't like to fly. We are going to stay here with the little girl."

"I think you are being lazy," Mrs. Wood Duck said. "I hope you won't be sorry. It gets very cold in Minnesota. But it is your choice."

Mr. and Mrs. Wood Duck left for the south the next day. Mrs. Wood Duck felt very bad about leaving her family behind. She worried about her children, and wondered if they would be all right when winter came. She knew she would miss having them with her.

Well, about one month later, who do you think showed up at the Wood Duck's southern home? It was the fat Wood Duck children.

Mrs. Wood Duck was so happy to see them.

"What are you doing here?" she cried.

"It's too cold in Minnesota," the young ducks said.

All of the other ducks started to laugh.

"Now you see that you should listen to your mother and father," they said.

Boys and girls, you should always listen to your parents. Your mother and father know what is best for you.

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