My interest in animals first started when I was a teenager working at a local movie theater. It was the first day on the job; I had just put on my brand new uniform. It was still stiff, full of folding wrinkles, and smelled like the plastic cellophane I just pulled it out of. The day started off with going through protocol and orientation paperwork, you know, the fun stuff. The sweet, nostalgic smell of popcorn filled the air as my trainers rushed me though my duties. First you learn to clean a theater, then it’s on to learning how to shovel popcorn into a bucket, fill a massive size slurpee and shamelessly charge movie patrons $35 for a $5 meal. Day turned to evening and the adolescent excitement of starting a new job started to fade as I cleaned the fourteenth movie theater of the day.
An excited radio call broke my concentration as I was carefully adding the perfect amount of butter to someone’s vat of popcorn. The call indicated there was a couple of baby ducks that had dropped into a storm drain! Myself and about three other team members raced outside to the calls of the children of a family who had found the ducks. The storm drain cover was already pulled away from the curb when we got to the edge of the parking lot. We gazed into the darkness to see a few fuzzy, yellow ducklings buzzing around in the water mixture below. The momma duck was circling, pacing with anxiety as she searched for her clan of children.
We knew what we had to do; someone had to go down and grab them, and bring them to safety. Being my very first day, I volunteered to subject myself to the volatile mixture of liquids and solids below. I slid myself into the jagged hole and worked myself down the tiny ladder steps to the bottom of the sewer. The ducklings swam further into the tube system out of fear. Luckily, someone volunteered a loaf of bread to our rescue cause and I was able to coax each duckling out with my new lure. All in all, there were nine ducklings that I pulled from the drain, and handed off to the family helping me pull them out. I then pulled myself out as the children herded the duck family away from the road and toward the forest. Through the caring hearts of the youth that notified us of the distressed ducklings, the team work of customers and staff we were able to save the duck family from a treacherous fate. And yes, I did go back to work after that with a change of uniform.
Showing kindness for those who can do nothing for us in return is such a simple concept that so many miss out on. It took an hour of our day to save that whole family of ducks, and we will probably never see them again. It is the feeling of helping an animal in need, and successfully making a difference in their lives that inspired me so much that I knew I my life had revolve around helping animals in need.