19 JULY 1957, Page 42


When almost over the hump of the little bridge I saw that my way was blocked by a duck crossing the road. She waddled forward and then went back a yard. I should have noticed more about her at once—her head was held rather low and there was a certain nervousness in her movement—but InY engine stalled at that moment. One cannot watch a duck and rerhember mechanical things when a:trici.e. a narrow bridge. By the time I had remedied 015 carelessness I found the duck had marshalled font dawdling ducklings and escorted them into a ditch' They were evidently off in search of water. The ditch was dry and the stream beneath the bridge trickled in the shingle bed, hardly deep enough shelter a frog, let alone float a duckling. I moved on. for a tractor with some gargantuan appliance in tow waited to cross the bridge. It was some moments before I thought about the duck and recalled will' sudden delight that I had been watching a family nt mallards making for the river and no mere farmyard truants playing last across the highway.