Faith in humanity and a duck

Ducklings by a lake
Photo credit: Petr Kratochvil via

Sometimes it’s easy to lose your faith in humanity. People shoot each other, call each other names, mistreat animals, and ignore each other. For a social animal, we’re not always very sociable. (Not that I want to spend more time with people. I’m content being sociable on my own.)

Other times, a person will do something unexpectedly nice.

A while back, I was driving in the South Island (of New Zealand, not that there are any other South Islands). I passed through a township, following the main road, and drove out into the hundred zone.

I was getting up to speed when the car ahead braked suddenly and stopped dead in the middle of the road.

Unsure why it had stopped, I braked too. I pulled up behind it and waited. And waited.

I couldn’t see anyone on the road ahead, human or sheep.

The other car still didn’t move. Another car stopped behind me, and another.

Then out from in front of the lead car waddled a mother duck and a tumble of tiny ducklings.

The entire queue of cars waited while the family of ducks waddled safely across the road and disappeared into the grass.

The cars didn’t have to wait. They could have been in a hurry, driven on and risked hitting the ducklings. But they didn’t. They sat there until the ducklings were out of harm’s way.

That little show of humanity made my day, and of course I was glad the ducklings made it across the road in one piece.

So when the horrible ways people treat each other are getting you down, remember: there are still people who stop for ducklings.

What little demonstrations of humanity have made your day?


Get a monthly summary of my new posts and secret subscriber-only offers here:

Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

9 thoughts on “Faith in humanity and a duck”

  1. Aww, so sweet, giving the duck family the right of way! 😀 The people in my town are wonderfully considerate toward wildlife, too. One day when I was walking down the street a man said to me “Achtung, Hummel.” Back then I didn’t speak enough German to understand what he meant, until I saw a bumblebee crawling on the ground. He didn’t want me to step on it. Another day on my favorite forest path a woman I came across said “Achtung, Frosch.” – there was a frog on the path in the direction I was headed and she wanted to ensure its safety. The locals treat even small animals with respect, which kind of makes me want to hug them, at least in my mind.

  2. This is so lovely – we all need a reminder now and then that we’re all still capable of many small kindnesses, no matter what else is going on in the world.

    I needed to to read this today – thank you!

  3. Aw… that’s so sweet! I can remember the same happening when I was a kid – only the ducks choose to make their way over a very lively intersection. People still stopped and waited.

    It’s a long time since I’ve seen someone act in such a selfless way.

    1. Whew! Lucky ducks. I like to think most people would still stop for ducks, though I was a bit surprised that time that they stopped in an open speed zone to do it.

Comments are closed.