Monday, November 30, 2009


“Don’t jump into the sewer” Laurie and I yelled to no avail. I’ve known Lew for close to half a century and my gut feeling was that nothing would stop him from jumping into the sewer and getting stuck.

It all started on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Lew, Gayle, Sam and I had just arrived at her daughter Laurie’s house to celebrate Father’s Day. It was going to be a small quiet group. Laurie, Steve, and their three children lived in a new house that backed up to a pond full of ducks. Sam and Lew went into the house while Gayle and I lingered outside. We were engrossed in the antics of a mother duck and her babies. Mama duck was squawking and pacing along the street. Five ducklings were following her. As we approached the scene we realized that she was calling to a baby that had fallen in the sewer. Matters became worse-- every time she walked by the sewer another duckling fell in.

“Gayle, go get help” I yelled as I chased mother duck and her two-remaing ducklings back towards the pond. That was when Lew came bounding out of the house and straight into the sewer.

Picture this scene----Lew is stuck half in and half out of the sewer but he is happy because he has just rescued two baby ducklings. I am running around holding the ducklings calling for their mother. Laurie is screaming “get him out of the sewer-keep my children away before they fall in too.” Sam is trying to help Lew-cars are stopping and blocking the street, neighbors are coming out with nets, fishing poles, buckets, grease, kids are trying to catch the one baby duckling that is running back towards the sewer, dogs are barking and also trying to catch the ducklings. One kid is trying to drop a firecracker in the sewer to scare the babies out. Steve has run back into the house to get his movie camera. He keeps it handy when his in-laws come over. They have been known to cause chaos in a normally quiet neighborhood.

All sense of time was abandoned. Our mission was duckling rescue. The pool net became a lifesaver for the ducklings. We were able to pull five ducklings out of the sewer. The kids went scouting for mama duck. She was found on the pond. How fulfilling it was to see mama back with her baby ducklings. We didn’t have to leave Lew in the sewer after all. He was able to maneuver himself out. All was well so we went back into the house where we decided to change our order from Peking duck to an order of pizza.

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