Why did the duckies cross the road? Because Constable Glenn Cunningham was on the job, ready to give them a helping hand
Even our feathered friends need a helping hand every now and again and one (water) ‘fowl’ family are none the worse for wear after RNC Constable Glenn Cunningham made sure they made it to their destination safe and sound and in one fluffy piece.
Ducking into traffic
Cunningham, who’s stationed out of St. John’s and works with traffic services, has been an officer for 14 years. While he’s perhaps seen – and heard – it all over the years, what happened on Peacekeepers Way in CBS on June 5 at rush hour was a new one.
“It was six o’clock and I was just driving along. I was headed East and in the distance I observed a duck on the shoulder of the road and saw what I believed to be a baby duck right behind her,” he begins.
As he’s trained to do, he quickly assessed the situation, activated his emergency lights and blocked the east-bound roadway.
“I was happy I did that because immediately, eight more baby ducks popped up behind the mom. The ducks started crossing the road and at the same time the westbound traffic became self-aware and stopped as well. I got traffic held, but by now, the ducks were down in the median and were stuck. It was grassy and there were rocks and some debris so some of the baby ducks couldn’t get through, so I go down in the median and I encourage the ducks; keep goin’, keep goin,’ and they make their way across the westbound lane,” he says.
When asked if he’s surprised by the reaction to his thoughtful efforts, he pauses ever so briefly. “There were no problems, commuters were back under way and everybody’s quite happy that police were involved to kind of make sure the ducks were properly taken care of.”
Free as a bird
While he says he’s helped a feathered friend out a time or two in the past, such encounters have been where you’d expect them – around Bowring Park.
“I’ve never done this on a highway. Highways present a little bit of a different dilemma. We would never encourage the general public to do this, but police officers are equipped to stop traffic.”
What was his family’s reaction?
“I go home and tell my wife and she was impressed, and my five year old and two year old, when I told the story, they loved it.”
As for social media’s reaction? “My wife woke me up off the couch, at that point I had no idea a video was making the rounds, and to see the reaction – the positive reaction – was great.”
Everyone, he says, has been supportive and appreciative of his extending a helping hand to some web-footed friends. Constable Cunningham says he’s just glad he was there; right time, right place kind of thing.
It must be nice when everything works out and you get to be part of a good news story, especially when it happens on one of this province’s busiest roads, we ask. He couldn’t agree more, saying modestly, “I was just happy I could help.’’
No doubt momma duck and her many adorable ducklings are more than happy he was there too.