Read by Anita Rodgers
Spring had returned to Breakers Island. The warmth was a welcome change from the cold winter. All the animals were stirring. The Secret Spring Meadow burst into color with blooming flowers. The rivers and streams bubbled as the water flowed down from the mountains into the woods, meadows, and farmlands.
With springtime came the arrival of animals that migrated each year to Breakers Island. Not all the animals looked forward to the return of the “Snow Birds.”
They were called snow birds because they left Breakers Island when the cold weather brought snow. They returned when the snow was gone and the weather was warm.
Fred, the frog king, said to Queen Lilly, “All the frogs are complaining about the ducks. Some are saying that there isn’t enough room in our pond for them this year.”
Queen Lilly said, “Fred, you know it’s not about the size of the pond. They don’t like the noise. Their loud duck quacks echo across the water.”
Fred said, “You don’t hear the frogs complain about their loud quacking when the ducks warn us of other animals coming to the pond to eat us.”
Not far away, the beavers said the same thing. Because of Baxter’s building efforts, there were more lodges at the beaver pond. The beavers said, “Baxter, we don’t have enough space for the ducks this year. They aren’t the best neighbors to have in a small space. They make so much noise. Not only do they like to quack, they also call each other with loud whistles, coos, and grunts.”
Baxter had a soft spot for the ducks. He said, “I like them. They are fun and friendly. The baby ducklings are worth a little noise.”
The ducks had no idea how their neighbors viewed them. They were a happy, social group. The ducks liked their summer home at Breakers Island.
Drake, the duck’s leader, said, “Let’s send two ducks ahead to look for a good nesting spot.” Sisters, Dana and Diana, were picked to fly over and check on the ponds. Drake was surprised at their report on Breakers Island.
Dana began, “There are many more frogs and beavers living there now. The frogs weren’t happy to see us. One mean frog croaked at me. He was really mad when I left.”
Drake asked, “Dana, why was the frog mad at you?”
Dana explained, “He had to jump into the pond when I dove down at him.”
Drake said, “Oh, no! Dana, dive-bombing the frogs is no way to make friends.”
Dana reported hearing a frog say, “Those ducks are a flying menace. I almost had my head taken off by one.”
Diana said, “The beavers weren’t much better than the frogs. They acted like they own the place. There are more lodges in the pond than last year. We wouldn’t be welcome there.”
Drake asked, “Do you have any good news?”
Diana said, “When we got such a cold welcome from the beavers and frogs, we flew over the rest of the meadows and woods. We found a pond that is a little larger. It looks perfect for us.”
Drake said, “That sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch?”
Dana said, “There is a waterfall flowing from the river into the pond. It makes a small ripple on the surface of the water.”
Drake asked, “So you want us to live on a pond where we will bob up and down in the water?”
Diana quickly added, “No, the water is smooth on most of the pond. It’s just the area under the waterfall that has rough waters.”
Dana said, “Drake, you should fly over and check out this pond. It looks like a good place for us to nest.”
Drake flew over the pond. He agreed with Dana and Diana.
The team of ducks neared Breakers Island. Drake called to them, “Let’s fly low over the other ponds to let our neighbors know we are back.”
Quack, Quack, Quack!
No one could miss their return. The air was filled with the loud noise of the ducks as they flew to their new home at Mallard Pond. Drake thought, “There’s no place like home.”
Dive-bombing the frogs is no way to make friends.