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The Outside Story: Male mallards aren't as nice as they look

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Posted on July 26, 2018 |
By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul



TOS_Mallards.jpg
MALLARD DUCKS Illustration by Adelaide Tyrol

Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way for Ducklings” is one of my favorite childhood books. I loved the way Mr. and Mrs. Mallard interacted, their seemingly endless search for the perfect nesting place, the description of classic Boston neighborhoods, and the whimsical names of their eight ducklings.

Not until I started reading the story to my own children, several years ago now, did I notice Mr. Mallard ditches Mrs. Mallard after the ducklings hatch, leaving her to tend to eight kids on her own, amid the dangers of snapping turtles and Boston traffic.

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