The female Muscovy had spent the last hour or so nervously pacing around the storm grate across from the house. Every time I had glanced up from my computer I had seen her doing circles around the slotted cover. It looked like she was quacking but I couldn't hear her from inside.
The evening before I had seen a female duck with her brood of 2-week old ducklings walking down near the lake. All these Muscovys look alike, I thought to myself, but what if this was the one? And where were the ducklings?
I hurriedly showered, got dressed for the day and went out to get my empty garbage bin. But before I wheeled it up the driveway, I heard the peeps. A peek down into the sewer confirmed what I had suspected.
I thought a call to the non-emergency number of the Pembroke Pines Police Department was going to get me the runaround but surprisingly I heard a bit of urgency in the employee's voice after I told her what I had.
"Do you dispatch the water department or something," I asked, expecting a non-specific response. Instead I got, "Oh no. We send the fire department. Are you able to stand by for them?"
"Sure," I said. But I was on my way to work.
So I asked, "I know it's a routine call so how long do you think it will take?"
"Just a few minutes," she said and I heard the tapping of keyboard keys in the background. "In fact, they're on their way now."
Not more than 10 minutes later, a big red ladder truck rolled down the street. I pointed out the sewer to the two fireman and, after granting permission for some picture taking, they got to work.
It seemed like they were genuinely happy to be helping and they probably were. After they were through, I thanked the guys and they took off but the ducklings had wandered away and stationed themselves in front of a nearby garage door. Their peeping had stopped and the mother duck was nowhere to be seen.
I had to find her and let her know her kids were free.
I located her across the street behind a row of houses near the lake. I attempted to get her going in the right direction but she kept wanting to go in the opposite for some reason. I decided to give her some space and, sure enough, about 10 minutes later she started heading back towards the sewer cover where all this had started.
She started quacking but she didn't want to get any more than 50 feet from the sewer. Not that it would have done any good anyways because the ducklings were huddled two doors down.
I went over to the ducklings and started towards them in the hopes that they would begin making enough noise to attract their mother. They immediately began peeping.
If ducks had ears, they would have been straight up on that female Muscovy. She ran across the street in the direction of the peeps, leaning forward and trying to keep her balance as she rushed toward her little ones. As she rounded the corner and started up the driveway, she caught sight of the ducklings and in an instant was among them, quacking softly.
My job was done. My morning had just turned golden.
I can't say enough about the Pembroke Pines Police and Fire Departments. I am proud to live in a city that respects the lives of animals and responds this way to calls of this nature. These folks are the best.