One of my co-workers and I left the office for lunch and drove down to a local river boat ramp next to a sort of park. We were there about 10 minutes before I heard the unmistakeable "peeps" of ducklings, in amongst the magpie calls, the scrub jay screams, auto engines, boat engines, slapping of water against the river sides. There were a trio of wild mallards basking on the side of the river. About 20 feet out, five tiny ducklings paddled around a single female. They were TINY! Could NOT have been more than 3 days old, if that. We watched them for quite a long time, getting nervous when a very most intrepid duckling took off out towards the middle of the river all on its lonesome. Mama started quacking and the other four came to her, and the flotilla headed off after the adventurer. A motorized skiff went by, and created wavelets. The little duckling bobbed and swirled in the eddies. Mama quacked some more. (I suddenly know why females quack so loud and males just sound husky - Mamas NEED to have their voices heard!! Daddies just need the little ones to get off his back....) Mama and the four siblings swirled around in the eddies, making some headway, whilst the wayward duckling got turned around and headed back to them. She gathered them up and off they swam, back towards the safety of the rocks near the boat ramp. It was a great lunch break, albeit fraught with anxiety for a few minutes there. When I get home, I'm going to hug my two Cayugas, just "because." And give them some peas.