The one about the duckling I hid in my cleavage.

You know that moment?

The one that comes when you are trying desperately to be professional?

To pass for a calm, cool, collected businessperson?  Perhaps while you’re at a bank, finishing a nearing six-figure aircraft deal, providing closing instructions to a banker on behalf of your client?

And then the wild duckling that you have hidden in your cleavage starts peeping?

img_0839
That’s us.  In the bank.

Don’t you just hate that?

This kind of stuff only happens to me, huh?

The thing is, I was driving to work when I saw the duckling tumble into the road.  He almost looked like a little leaf, tumbling head over flippers.  I stopped to check anyway, because there was something very alive about the movement I saw in my rear view mirror.  Something in me told me it was a duckling, even though it made zero sense to find a duckling on that road.

There was no trace of a mama, and I knew the area.  I knew there were no ponds.  I couldn’t imagine how he got there all alone, but I knew that he would end up falling into the ravine on the other side of the road if I left him.  He would be hawk food or cat food or raccoon food sooner rather than later.

So, you see, on the way to work or not, I couldn’t just leave him there.

(Thank God I work for my family’s business.)

My family is…well, they’re used to me.

I have called my sister to help my farm sitter wrangle rogue llamas back into their pasture.  I have called my mother to fawn sit an injured fawn until I could get her to a rehabber.  More than once I have called my dad and let him know that I would be late because a horse needed a vet call or a turtle needed help crossing the road.  (I rescued five turtles from the road this year; only one of them peed on me and necessitated that I go home and change clothes before making it to work.)

I doubt that it surprised him very much when I called to tell him I needed to drive an orphan duckling and hour and a half away to the Wildlife Clinic at the University.  I asked if anything NEEDED to get done before I left, and he gave me a short list.

Top of the list was the wire transfer to close a deal.

Here’s the thing: I couldn’t just leave the little guy in the car.  It was WAY too hot for that.

And I couldn’t carry him into the bank in the bucket either; with the air conditioning in the building, he might get too cold.  (Baby birds have to be kept warm.)  So I did what seemed perfectly reasonable at the time, wrapping him in a paper towel and tucking him into my shirt.

Stop laughing.  No.  This is totally a thing you do with sick baby chicks.  It’s normal…if you’re a crazy chicken lady…

Shut up.

Anyway, that’s how I wound up in the banker’s office, authorizing a wire transfer for more than the purchase price of my first house with a duckling stuffed into my cleavage.

It was fine at first.  The little dude was quiet, maybe sleeping.

I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking for sure that this would go off without a hitch, and we could be on our way to the University in no time.

Then it starting peeping…a pre-quack if you will.  Coming from the direction of my boobs.  At first I ignored him.

“Peep..

“Peep.  Peep.  Peep!”

“PEEP”

The banker glanced up.

I caved.

“There’s a duckling in my shirt…” I said when she glanced my way quizzically.

The words spilled out a little too fast.  (There’s really no graceful way to utter that sentence though.)  My little, quacking friend popped his head above shirt level for emphasis.

img_0843

My God, I thought, we do business with these people all the time.

I spilled the story in an attempt at self-redemption.  I found him all alone.  We would be hitting the road as soon as I left, heading to the University Clinic an hour and a half away.

“Huh,” she replied, “I just thought it was a text alert or something.”

Moments like these are why the face-palm was invented.  Of course, a text alert.  That would have been better.

Duck-Duck (as I began calling him) and I hit the road as soon as the wire authorized.  We jammed out to T Swift on the way to the University.  (Birds love T Swift.)   He seemed pleased as punch with his adventure when I handed him over to the care of the professionals at the Wildlife Clinic.  They told me he was a wood duck and that he would be just fine.

img_0845

Five hours, a tank of gas, and an embarrassing interaction with our banker later, Duck-Duck was finally safe and sound, a long way from the road he tumbled onto.

And I?  Well, I gave a banker a good story to tell.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements