With all the terrible news coming out of the Gulf and the distressing dysfunctionality with which humans are relating to other species on the planet, here is a nice respite.
I was on Caltrain yesterday travelling with my bicycle from San Francisco to San Jose and overheard a conductor telling this story.
A few days ago, the train was stopped at Hayward Park in San Mateo, and the engineer gets out of his compartment- extremely rare for them to do- walks down the stairs, and tells the conductor that he needs his help- something unusual had arisen.
They open the doors, walk out in front of the train and there are a handful of ducklings stuck between the rails. They can’t get over the other rail by themselves and the mother duck is quacking with great alarm as this huge diesel train is stopped right above them.
The engineer, refusing to proceed over the ducklings, lifts the beleaguered ducklings across the other rail with the help of the conductor and the ducklings waddle away to freedom following the grateful mother duck.
They radio to central rail control in San Jose and report that they have experienced a ten minute “duckling delay.”