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Duckling, Part II
Dabble is dazzled by a dragonfly in the pond.
Dabble is dazzled by a dragonfly in the pond.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Below is the second part of "Duckling."

Ducklings can usually swim right after they are born. But they must wait for their mother to waterproof their feathers before they can take their first swim.

Dabble is the very first young duckling to jump into the water after Mother Duck. Her sisters and brothers gleefully jump in after her. They bob on the water like balls of fluff.

What a glorious and fun pond! Suddenly Dabble is dazzled by a dragonfly that lands on a nearby lily pad. A colorful butterfly grabs her attention next. Then she stares at a caterpillar on a cattail leaf.

Now Dabble is getting quite hungry, and she knows exactly what to do. She tips up her tail and stretches her bill down to the muddy bottom of the pond to find plenty of plants, roots, and seeds.

Dabble enjoys dipping down to look for food underwater, then popping up again to see where Mother Duck is.

Dabbling is what Dabble does when she turns upside down to look for food underwater. Only her tail can be seen above the water.

There is plenty of food now, but in the winter ducks can't find insects, seeds, or plants to eat. So every fall, they fly south in a V formation. The weather is warm there, and they will find plenty of food.

Dabble watches a colorful butterfly flitting among the reeds in the pond. Then Dabble dips down to enjoy another nibble. She lifts her tiny head to quack hello to a red-winged blackbird.

Dabble goes fishing for food under the water.
Dabble goes fishing for food under the water.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Mother Duck dips down to get something to eat for herself. Underwater, Mother Duck sees a big snapping turtle swimming toward her little ducklings.

Just as quick as a quack, Mother Duck calls out for her ducklings to return to shore, but Dabble is underwater and doesn't hear her.

Mother Duck swims swiftly over to Dabble and gets between Dabble and the snapping turtle. Dabble pops up and swims to shore with Mother Duck, and the turtle swims away.

A duck's three front toes are webbed and used as paddles to swim really fast through the water and away from snapping turtles. Mother Duck will do anything to protect her ducklings. Sometimes she will even flap her wings and quack loudly to scare an enemy away.

Dabble will dream of her new butterfly friend.
Dabble will dream of her new butterfly friend.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

That night all the ducklings sleep warm and safe in the nest after their busy first day in the world. Dabble is dreaming of tomorrow, when she will see the bright butterfly again.

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