Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Rescue - Tales from my Happy Heart File

OK, those of you who know me may know that I have a Happy Heart File. Inside this file is stories, cartoons or anything on paper that makes me smile even when nobody's around. This file is especially important for those days when life seems overwhelming. I decided I should share the love in my HHF. Here's a fairly recent story I added that I first found on my Snopes.com urban legend update. I was so excited to find it was true and the cherry on top is that it happened right here in Spokane! Here's the article written about it on KREM 2's website :

Man catches ducklings jumping from ledge
05:23 PM PDT on Wednesday, May 28, 2008
By KEVIN BLOCKER; KREM.com
SPOKANE -- As a senior loan officer at Sterling Savings Bank downtown, Joel Armstrong has spent a considerable amount of time helping people realize their dreams and bailing people out of financial jams at the same time. He would have never imagined that his most memorable rescue would have occurred while helping a mother duck and her recently hatched offspring down to the river on Tuesday.

"It was an amazing site; I'm an animal lover at heart," Armstrong said from his office on Thursday.

Outside Armstrong's office window one month ago he noticed the mother duck laying eggs in a cement awning, which rests 10 feet above the ground. Those eggs hatched on Monday. When he arrived to work the following day he observed the mother standing at the edge of the awning before swooping to the sidewalk below. What he saw next took his breath away.

"The first duckling goes to the edge and... smack. Just hits the sidewalk," he said.

Horrified, Armstrong darted out of his office and to the sidewalk below. The duckling laid motionless for about 10 seconds before regaining its senses. The next thing Armstrong knew, all the ducklings had instinctively lined up on the ledge ready to follow the first one's lead. Now lined up a like a centerfielder, Armstrong proceeded to shag ducks like falling baseballs from the sky with his bare hands.

"In one instance two jumped at the same time," he said.

Armstrong caught both.

"I truly think the entire time the mother duck could sense I was trying to help," he said. "She just stood there and allowed me to catch them."

But that was only half the battle. The next step was to get them to the river. Armed with a gaggle of co-workers from the office, Armstrong and some of the Sterling Savings staff were prepared to serve as guides for the ducks to the water. However, it was clear that between traffic, and the ducklings inability to move at an expeditious pace, it was going to be a tedious journey. So one of Armstrong's colleagues retrieved an empty box, placed the ducklings in it and walked them to the river.
Finally, at a calm location along the river, the mother duck welcomed her newborns to a setting clearly more indigenous to their native habitat.

"It was amazing watching them jump," Armstrong said. "Could you imagine the second day of your life having to jump from a building to get home?"


2 comments:

David S. said...

That guy works on the bottom floor of my building. Even us downtown workers can have heart. Love this story, and kudos to the man with a plan!

Missy said...

Awwwwww...that makes my heart happy. :)