A Guide-Duck For The Blind

One of the most marvelous examples of animals caring for each other is recalled by Cleveland Amory in his lovely little book, Animal. He tells of a scientist named Dr. Arthur Peterson, who lives in DeBary, Florida. A few years ago, Dr. Peterson noticed some odd activity by ducks on a lake on his property. Becoming extremely fascinated with what he saw, Dr. Peterson began to study the ducks, and soon realized that a male duck (whom he called for the sake of clarity “John-Duck”) was uncannily and persistently attentive to a certain female duck (whom Dr. Peterson called “Mary-Duck”). It was not mating season, so there was no apparent explanation for this behavior, but he was terribly curious, and kept observing the ducks, looking for clues. One day he noticed that John-Duck had left Mary-Duck alone for a minute, and he quickly approached her, slipped a net over her, and examined her. To his astonishment, Dr. Peterson found that Mary-Duck was completely blind.

Touched by the implications of his discovery, Dr. Peterson released the unseeing Mary-Duck. Moments later, John-Duck reappeared, and went immediately over to her. Then this “seeing-eye duck” gave a loud series of reassuring quacks, and guided her off.

Story is from “Diet for A New America”, an inspiring book by author John Robbins, promoting a cruelty free way of life for the physical, environmental, social and spiritual well being of Mother Earth and all of her children. Visit www.earthsave.org for more on the work of John Robbins