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Ducklings Cross The Street, Fall Into Storm Sewer In A Row

June 4, 1988

PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) _ Why did the 18 ducks cross the busy street?

They were trying to get to the other side, but they didn’t make it. Seventeen fell into a storm sewer.

Louie DeLuca said he was looking out the window of his woodworking shop Friday when he saw a wood duck hen with 17 ducklings trailing behind cross the busy street in downtown Papillion.

″I couldn’t believe it,″ he said. ″They were certainly in the wrong place.″

DeLuca, 42, said he and his 12-year-old son, Danny, ran outside and stood in the middle of the street ″directing and stopping traffic″ so the ducks could pass.

But the mother duck began to run when she spied DeLuca.

″She ran right over a sewer grate and naturally the little ones followed,″ DeLuca said.

And one by one, the baby ducks disappeared through the openings in the grate. The mother continued to run and eventually flew off, DeLuca said.

″My son and I got a box and, as each baby duck jumped out of the sewer grate, we caught them and put them in the box.″

The nimble brown-and-yellow ducklings were about the size of tennis balls, DeLuca said. All but one jumped out of the sewer, he said.

″The last one seemed kind of scared.″

So the duck Samaritan called the Public Works Department and a crew came out with a crane, lifted off the grate and pulled the last duckling out.

DeLuca said his son and daughter took the ducklings to the Henry Doorly Zoo.

″The mother never returned,″ he said.

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