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Blane Klemek: Hatching a little mallard duckling on the farm

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The mallard hen that I nearly stepped on in the pasture was one of my earliest boyhood memories. The bird erupted from a clump of dead and dry springtime grass; her flapping wings beating furiously and giving me such a start that I nearly turned and ran in the opposite direction. She quacked loudly and continued to do so as she flew to a nearby wetland and landed with a “plop”.

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