The busiest highway in the Twin Cities metropolitan area is 35W; it was the 35W bridge over the Mississippi River that collapsed a few years ago. Tonight, as usual when I am in town, I was driving south on 35W at rush hour, when I saw an extraordinary sight. A mother mallard duck started to run across the southbound lanes, followed closely by eight very small ducklings.
I couldn’t figure out where they came from, since there is a ten foot high wall on the side of the highway where they started out. They must have climbed up an entrance or exit ramp, a considerable distance away. They crossed the highway right in front of me, in an area where two three-lane roads come together. It didn’t look like they had a chance to make it, but cars slowed and dodged a bit to avoid them, and they miraculously got safely across the first three lanes.
Then they had a momentary respite in a small open space. They rested briefly, until the mother thought she saw an opening. Then they raced into the next three lanes. Again they seemed doomed, but cars tried to avoid them and maybe the mother’s calculation was shrewder than I thought, because they made it safely to the next stop.
Having crossed the southbound lanes, they ran up against a concrete barrier that is around three feet high. The median goes on just about forever; they needed to go at least a mile or two either north or south before they would find an opening, and it was hard to see how the ducklings, no more than a few inches high, could run that far even if they avoided traffic. Then, if they made it to a break in the median, they would have to run across another four to six lanes to get to the opposite side of the highway. Which may or may not do them any good, as they were lost in a concrete jungle.
That was the last I saw of them. Objectively speaking, they didn’t have a prayer. But they had made it half-way across, and for the time, at least, they had found a place of refuge. They reminded me, a little bit, of us.
UPDATE: From the comments:
I’ll bet Weiner felt like those ducks the last few days………just sayin…..
Hey, man, I was trying to be inspiring!