Mother duck and ducklings waddle through school halls in Michigan


Elementary in Hartland is used to hosting Vanessa, who hatches her brood under the same shrub each year, then parades them through buildings to a pond

A mother duck has grown attached to a Michigan elementary schools courtyard, returning each year to lay her eggs and then walk the hallways with her ducklings with the help of students and staff to get to a nearby pond.

The duck named Vanessa has appeared at Village Elementary School in Hartland for the past 13 years and made her latest waddle through the school took place last week, according to the Livingston Daily Press & Argus of Howell.

Vanessa has been making the same trek for 13 years and the school makes sure to clear a safe path. Photograph: Gillis Benedict/AP

The duck flies into the closed-off courtyard, where children in the surrounding classrooms can take a peek out the window to watch, and then crawls under a specific shrub, digs out her nest, lays her eggs and waits for them to hatch.

After the ducklings appear, now-retired teacher Ruth Darrah and others tape black construction paper along the walls, creating a clear path for the ducks to get to a nearby pond outside the school. Teachers and staff make sure students are out of Vanessas path so they dont frighten her.

Its so unusual, but everyone gets so invested in this duck because how cool is it that she comes back each and every year, said Elizabeth Krause, a mother who has witnessed the ducks appearance almost every year.

This year, Vanessa waited by the courtyard door for it to be unlocked and waddled with her ducklings through the school within minutes.

She has it down by now, after 13 years, Darrah said.

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