Running late on their way to school May 1, teacher Mika Flores and daughter Ryann Flores had no clue that their day was about to become extraordinary.
Ryann Flores, a first-grader, and Mika Flores, a special education teacher, were on their way to Caprock Elementary School when they spied a mother duck and a passel of ducklings lingering in the street near the curb at Beach and Timberland Boulevard.
As they drove by, Ryann, 6, knew that the ducks needed help. She pleaded with her mom to turn around and go back. They parked nearby and approached the mother and babies, who still weren’t leaving the area. Once they got closer, they realized why. They could hear a duckling quacking from down in the storm drain.
“I felt sad for it,” Ryann said.
While they were trying to figure out how to help, they saw the manhole leading down into the storm drain. Mother and daughter were able to lift the cover.
Mika Flores helped Ryann down the drain, which was just a bit over Ryann’s head.
“She was scared at first because she was afraid she was going to hurt it,” Mika Flores said.
Ryann said, “It was kind of funny because the duckling was running away from me.”
She carefully caught it and held on to the baby while Mika lifted them both out of the storm drain. They snapped a few quick pictures, then gave the duckling back to its mother well away from the street, close to an adjacent pond.
Mika Flores said the mother duck quacked happily as Ryann said, “I saved it! I saved it!”
Ryann said, “It was fun to see it back with its family.”
When they got to Caprock, they told everyone why they were late and how Ryann saved the duckling.
“She wanted to go save more ducks,” Mika Flores said.