Mother Duck’s little flock of fluff balls,
following her swaying rump
on springtime’s soft new grass,
resembled a row of round yellow buttons
on a deep green velvet robe.
I wondered if she’d planned,
even before the first hatchling
ever poked through fragile shell,
to keep her young ones safe.
I imagined her waiting patiently
for each peep to emerge,
then checking to be sure
their wee webbed feet were perfect.
I felt sure before permitting them
to wander from the nest,
she warned them never to look back,
lest they fall into a hole
or get lost from their family
and be all alone and sad.
Perhaps she taught them, also,
to delight in nature’s gifts
that could be found in paths ahead,
like sun-drenched daisies and daffodils
or raindrops plopping on puddles.
I thought she must have trusted
they would follow her instructions,
for not once did she turn around
as they continued in a bouncing button row
till they waddled out of sight.
I expect that in the future
they will teach their own small ducklings
what they learned from Mother Duck.
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