Down on Fairfield Road

About a month ago, Jen and I went for a bike ride on a Saturday afternoon. On the way home, we came up the back streets from Hyde Park. We got to Yeronga Street, and were about to cross into the commercial block when we saw them. A duck was crossing Yeronga, followed by seven ducklings, their legs flailing away to keep up. We rolled over into the car park, watching them progress up the other side of the street. Some bloke joined us, beaming at them. They crossed Fairfield Road at the lights. A couple of other were standing there watching them as well. The traffic was at its calmest at that time on Saturday afternoon, but the road was by no means empty. As we watched, a van came followed our route down Shottery Street and stopped to let them across the intersection, still following Yeronga. Seeing the van, Mum picked up the pace. Somehow the chicks kept up.

On the other side of Fairfield Road is a narrow strip of green, a chain wire fence, and the railway lines. Where had they come from? We decided to escort them up the street towards the Brisbane River. They had about two and a half blocks to traverse to the dead end of the street. Beyond was the river bank. A couple of other cars came down the road, and made way for them. Whenever they approached, Mum would find a gap in the parked cars and take them to the edge of the road. At one point a woman came out of her driveway, and couldn’t see them. The ducks were already looking for the gutter, but we warned the driver.

At the end of the cul-de-sac, there was a steep grassy slope down to the water. She crossed the road and led them onto the grass, where they started to peck and run. We watched them over the crest of the hill. A couple walking their dog had joined us. No camera.

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