Posts Tagged ‘Boston Commons’

Ducklings Dressed for the Winter

Winter Fun

It’s cold this morning in Tucson, and colder elsewhere say the weather men. But Boston’s ducklings have been dressed for it, as you can see in the above photo, which I came across while reading my email.

I spent a couple of days at the ducklings’ home on the Boston Commons back in 2006 during my RVing days. I parked my RV in a small town an hour’s drive from the city, and took the commuter train into town for a week of sight-seeing of historical sites like The Old North Church and Paul Revere’s home. I wrote about all this in Travels with Maggie. 

I found everything quite educational and interesting, but nothing charmed me as much as the bronze Mallard Family statues, created in honor of the 1941 classic children’s book, Make Way for Ducklings.

Designed by Nancy Schön in honor of the book’s author, Robert McCloskey, the ducklings were installed in the gardens in 1987. The book tells the story of how Mr. and Mrs. Mallard came to Boston looking for a home, and eventually settled in the gardens.

 Daddy Mallard, however, is missing, for the statues only consist of Mother Mallard and her eight babies: Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack.

The family is often dressed for holidays and the weather, but they were only in their birthday suits when I visited Boston. Because I was so charmed, I guess I’m still a child at heart – and thankful for it.

The ducklings were being enjoyed by kids like me when I visited them. — Photo by Pat Bean,

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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St. Francis, patron saint of animals, was being honored by sparrows until I frightened them away. -- Photo by Pat Bean

All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.” — Samuel Butler

Travels With Maggie

Boston has a lot of statues, the most notable probably being the one of George Washington in Boston Commons. My favorite is much less majestic. It’s the weather-worn statue of St. Francis tucked away in a small downtown walkway between streets.

St. Francis, a 12th century Catholic friar, is best known as the patron saint of animals. It was this knowledge that drew my attention during a walking tour of Boston (yesterday’s blog). In fact, I might not even have seen the statue if it hadn’t been for the house sparrows perched on the unobtrusive sculpture with its back up against a brick building.

Being an avid birder, I never miss seeing birds.

I grabbed for by camera, not wanting to miss such an appropriate photo of birds paying homage to the patron saint of animals. Big mistake. My movement scared all the birds away. The sole one remaining was the one the sculpture had created to sit on St. Francis’ shoulder.

The George Washington statue in Boston Commons. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I snapped the picture anyway. Later, where comparing St. Francis to the photo I had taken of George Washington sitting proudly astride his horse in the city’s public gardens, I saw the extreme disparity between the two.

Now while I respect our country’s first president and approve of his prominent position on a pedestal in Boston’s most popular park, the modest image of St. Francis, who loved animals, touched my heart. And that’s why it’s my favorite Boston statue.

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