Mother Duck was proud of her eight little ducklings. They were just a few weeks old and still looked like yellow balls of wool.
“I must take them to the pond,” she thought, “I want to teach them to swim.”
“But Mama, we have just learnt to walk. How can we swim so soon?” asked one little duckling.
“And what if the hawk swoops down and carries us away while we are going to the pond?” asked another.
“Don’t you worry, dear children. I’ll see that you are safe,” she assured them.
Mrs. Sparrow in the tree heard their conversation.
“But Mother Duck, you have to cross the big road to go to the pond. There is much traffic on the road,” she said.
“I’ll be careful little sparrow. I have crossed the road safely many times. Come dears,” Mother Duck called to her ducklings. They followed her obediently.
Mrs. Sparrow decided to fly along and keep a watch, as she loved the little ducklings.
It was noon and there was not much traffic on the road. So Mother Duck bravely waddled across the road, calling to her little ones to follow her. She had already gone ahead when she heard a feeble quack, and turned around. She saw the last of her ducklings fall into a sewer through the heavy iron grill.
“Oh my God! Oh my God! My children will all drown in the dirty water,” she cried.
She peeped through the grill and saw all the eight ducklings going round and round in the water.
“What shall I do?” she cried, flapping her wings in despair.
Mrs. Sparrow who had been watching, flew down.
“Look Mother Duck. There is no one hear to help. I’ll fly down the road. A policeman stands at the corner. I’ll see if I can bring him here.”
Mrs. Sparrow flew to the end of the road. The policeman was standing there on duty. She perched on his right soldier and pecked his ear. He pushed her away.
“Oh you silly bird, go away before I shoot you.”
Mrs. Sparrow flew to his left shoulder and pecked at his left ear.
“Get away you naughty bird – Go,” he shouted.
Now Mrs. Sparrow pecked his nose which made him very angry.
“I’ll kill you…..I’ll kill you.”
Just then, Mother Duck came waddling up. She was crying loudly, “quack, quack, quack.”
She held on to his pant and tugged. The policeman was furious and gave her a kick.
“Have all the birds gone mad? Why are they attacking me?” wondered the policeman.
But Mother Duck went on pulling his trouser leg.
“Okay, okay, let me see what you want,” he said, as he followed Mother Duck.
She hopped on the grill of the sewer and went “quack, quack, quack.”
The policeman peeped through the grill. There he saw eight frightened ducklings floating on the dirty water.
“I must save them,” he thought, and pulled with all his might. But the grill was tightly fixed.
“I’ll be back,” he said, as he ran down the road.
After a long time, the policeman came back with a tow truck. A big hook was attached to the grill, and it was pulled away. He had also brought a big sieve along. He gently lifted each duckling and pulled them safely out. They were shivering with cold, and dirty too.
“Thank You, quack, quack,” said Mother Duck to the policeman, and gave him a friendly peck on his arm.
“Come children,” she said, “You need a good bath. You smell like rotten eggs.”
She marched them off to the pond for a good wash and a swim.
Mrs. Sparrow settled on the policeman’s shoulder and nipped his ear.
“Wasn’t she a good mother? And you’re a kind fellow too. Thank you,” she chirped, and flew away.