Friday, December 29, 2006

Make Way for Ducklings!

Picture Credit
Picture Credit

Picture Credit

Since 1941, children all over the world have loved Robert McClosley's famous picture book Make Way for Ducklings.

Since 1978, each spring Boston has celebrated Duckling Day (first picture). Boston tots dress as ducklings and retrace the path taken by Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings from the Charles River to the Boston Public Gardens.

In the second picture, a mom has tied a bonnet on Mrs. Mallard and has taken a picture of her baby feeding this famous mother of eight!

The bronze statues of Mrs Mallard and her brood, seen in the third picture after a Boston snowstorm, were crafted by the artist Nancy Schön in 1987 and are a popular attraction in Boston Public Garden.

In 1991, the artist also made a replica of her Boston bronzes for Moscow's Novodevichy park, but uncultured hooligans sawed them off at the legs and stole them for scrapmetal! Luckily, the statues were restored in 2000. Russian children enjoy petting and sitting on the bronze ducklings.

One suspects that residents of St. Petersburg---home of Peter the Great's famous equestrian statue, The Bronze Horseman, which inspired Pushkin's poem of the same name---may be brooding darkly over the implications of Muscovy's fledgling ascendancy; still the Bronze Horseman seems to be taking the situation in stride.


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