When I was a little kid, one of the million different things I enjoyed about visiting my grandma and grandpa was a creek located a short distance from their house. My grandpa would bring home old bread from the family restaurant and we would walk to the creek. Once there, we would look around for a few ducks who decided to make that murky body of water their home. Once spotted, we took pieces of bread out of the sack and broke it up into pieces. We then tossed the hardened chunks in the direction of the ducks, baiting them to swim up close to us.
I loved seeing real life animals of the non-dog and non-cat variety up close. The green headed male ducks always grabbed my attention and I felt like I was doing a genuine good deed by feeding them. I realized that birds beyond the ones in a residential creek in Walla Walla needed nourishment as well. So, throughout my childhood, whenever we went to a big park with ponds, we would bring bread with us to feed the ducks. It never got old.
Hobbies and entertainment options fall out of favor with children over the generations, but duck feeding has staying power. Our little girl proved it last night.
For the first time in her 25-month life, we took Sloan to one of the ponds in our neighborhood to feed the wildlife. We stood on a gazebo and Sid took out a sack of aging bread she brought from the house. Before Sloan really even knew what we were doing, she took a full piece of bread and threw it into the water…fail.
But it got better from there. We showed her the proper way to break up the bread and toss it into the pond. As we did this, we attracted a lot more than just ducks. The waters in our neighborhood are full of turtles and fish. As we threw the food, an army of turtles swam to us, their heads bobbing above the water as they made their trek to dinner. Sloan couldn’t contain her excitement. In much the same way as when we decorated our Christmas tree, she danced around hysterically pleading “more, more, more.” At first, we couldn’t satisfy her need for constant bread but she did calm down after several minutes.
Once she was subdued, it was a very relaxing and nice experience on the gazebo. It was a gorgeous evening and we were the only ones feeding the aquatic animal kingdom of the Spring Lakes neighborhood. Much like myself as a child, Sloan loved the concept of feeding animals that aren’t normally found in people’s houses. We enjoyed our special time with nature and questioned what took us so long to finally do something like this with Sloan.
Fellow parents, if you need a cheap and peaceful activity for your child, take them to feed the ducks. It will keep them occupied and provide a great opportunity to educate them about the environment. Yes, they might throw a fit when the bread runs out, but you will find out that it is still worth it. I hope those ducks in our neighborhood are still hungry because they have not seen the last of the Resers. Don’t Blink.