Apr 28, 2012

The Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack

by Thornton W. Burgess

This little story is about a new visitor to the community of friendly wild animals Thornton Burgess wrote of. Mrs. Quack is a migrating duck who arrives at the Smiling Pool in a terrible state. Several of the animals find her there and coax her to tell her story. While traveling she was shot at multiple times by hunters, loosing her children and mate in the chaos of fleeing ducks. She doesn't know if her family is injured, dead, or merely lost. The other animals are concerned and make a plan to help Mrs. Quack find her missing husband and a safe place to live for the season. It's a nice little story about helping those in need and showing compassion. Of course, as the story is all told from the duck's viewpoint there is a very strong anti-human sentiment; it tends to go on and on about how unfair the hunter's tactics are and there is a lot of talk about death, pain and fear. This might be upsetting to younger children. Regardless, I still found the story charming and if you pay attention to the details there's quite a bit about wildlife behavior; how the ducks live and raise their families.

Rating: 3/5 ........ 96 pages, 1917

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