Joel Armstrong , a 43-year-old banker in Washington state, had been been watching a mother duck nest on a ledge outside his office window for 35 days, so he was not surprised to see them when he got to town on saturday for the city’s annual Lilac festival.
He was, however, surprised to see two of the little yellow bundles launch themselves from their preciptous perch. The mother duck, who stood watching at ground level, might have anticipated the worst– had Armstrong not stepped up to the plate.
Because Armstrong channeled his inner A-Rod by rushing to the scene, fielding each fuzzy yellow pop-fly handily as they launched themselves into the air and hurtled towards the ground.
Emboldened by their fellows’ good fortune, four more hatchlings followed suit. Armstrong’s catching arm was strong: he lowered each one safely to the impatient mother duck, who seemed to approve of Armstrong’s technique. (Armstrong ultimately had to use a ladder to retrieve the final two ducklings, who were more risk-averse, or less enthsiastic baseball fans, than were their brothers and sisters.)
Finally the mother duck and Armstrong, task completed, led the ducklings, side by side, down two blocks of the parade route to the Spokane river, hearkening to the resounding cheers of the approving parade-goers who lined both sides of the street, providing witness to Armstrong’s infield skills- neglected since grade school, but the best investment this banker ever made.
(the link below is to video of the event)