As I was driving up to my shop today, I saw a duck sitting along side of the road. Clearly, it is unusual to see waterfowl sitting on the ground next to the warehouses and railroad tracks in West Oakland. A casual glance told me that something was amiss, so I threw my raincoat over the bird, and brought her inside. Chances are, she was hit by a car while flying over the freeway, or that she mistook the wet road surface for a creek, and crash-landed on the asphalt. Poor thing.
Sheri and Cricket didn't even blink when I walked in and greeted them with, "Hey guys! Guess what's I've got in my raincoat? It's an injured scaup!" They immediately found a cardboard box, cut breathing holes in the sides and put a towel in the bottom. My painters are wonderful women, and are game for whatever craziness I toss their way.
I spent my lunch hour driving my little duck friend to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum's rehab hospital, and tonight she'll be transferred to the International Bird Rescue Research Center where Sheri and I volunteered during the recent oil spill. (I did not have time to drive all the way to Cordelia and back on my lunch break.)
Her bill was split and bloody and one of her eyes was really messed up. I'm not terribly optimistic about her prognosis, but Robb reminded me that if my role wasn't to save this animal, at least I could save it from a long unpleasant death.
And really, what are the odds that an injured duck lands fifty feet from the front door of the person who is willing and able to help her? The universe is a strange and wonderful place.