The first thing you'll see when you watch the video below is the mother duck and her ducklings are not wearing masks. They're also walking in the wrong COVID-19 safety lane and they are clearly not socially distanced inside Myles Elementary School in New Hartford, NY. My guess is that they heard that the CDC has lifted most of the restrictions as long as people (and ducks) have been vaccinated.

Yes, what you'll see in the video is 13 ducklings and their mother Mallard duck in Upstate New York, seeing an opportunity and committing the fowl act of walking through an open door and taking a tour of the school they have called home for the last several years.

Myles Elementary School was built in 1958 and the architect included a courtyard area, surrounded by 4 walls and including a garden area, benches and a pond. Over the last decade, Mallards have decided to breed in the courtyard pond, which may actually serve as the most fortified nesting area for any duck bringing newly hatched ducklings into this dangerous world.

Photo by Alison Keeler for WIBX

Think about it. The courtyard is completely surrounded by 4 brick walls; it's absolutely secured as no-one can get in and the ducks can't get out until they're fully prepared to fly. Put that together with the fact that inside those four walls, you'll find some 30 elementary school teachers who naturally nurture younglings. Add a school nurse and a couple of custodians who love animals, and you now have the safest place in the world for a mama Mallard to raise her ducklings. That's what's been going on every spring for the last several years at Myles.

Every year teachers and students observe and assist the mother Mallard. Lessons are taught and students see Mother Nature at her finest, up close. Even last year during the COVID-19 shutdown, it's said that several staff members from the front office tended to the ducks when school was fully remote. As in previous years, the ducks thrived last year, even during the pandemic, as the ducklings matured and flew off into nature.

Now, let's bring you up to speed as to why 13 ducklings are wandering through the halls of Myles Elementary School with their mother duck observing with a watchful eye. The fact is, when students weren't in the school, the custodian was doing some yard work in the courtyard and propped the door open. Without realizing it, the mama duck and her ducklings walked right through the door as if they were heading off to their kid's home room on curriculum night.

Photo by Alison Keeler for WIBX

The video is a must see and the best part is that as they get to the end of the hallway, a teacher (blurred to protect the innocent) is coming around the corner and scares them off in the other direction. For the record, I'll bet that's the first time a school teacher has turned the corner in her school hallway and was surprised to come face-first with a raft of ducklings. It may also be the last time.

In conclusion, everything ended well as the ducks who are now known as celebrity ducks, were herded out of the building and back into the safe confines of their semi-wildlife refuge, a.k.a., the Myles Courtyard.

A duckling that hatched in a courtyard at Myles Elementary School in New Hartford. June 10, 2019 (Photo by Bill Keeler /TSM)

All 13 ducklings have survived so far, and they continue to swim around in the courtyard pond for all the children to see as we enter the final few weeks of school. Just like last year, the ducklings are expected to mature enough to fly off into the wild sometime before the end of June and, I expect next spring, the process will most likely start all over again. That is, with the exception of the door being left open for "duck curriculum night." I feel like that probably won't happen again next year.

Watch the video here:

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