A Boston Tradition

Mother’s Day. Exhausted, incredulous. Home from the parade, she sat sipping sherry, flipping through albums. Pictures of children covered in yellow feathers. Thirty years of moms pushing buggies, pulling wagons, kids quacking.

Roberta surprised her this year. Came cross-country for this Boston tradition. And her costume! She manipulated poles so the wings stretched six feet above the crowds. More like a chicken but no mind. She drew oohs and ahs.

Mrs. McCloskey smiled through tears. Make Way for Ducklings, Caldecott book and so much more. How proud her father would be. His legacy for this city’s children and the world!


100 words. Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers. Rochelle provides a photo for a 100-word story. Tales vary widely. Photo this week is by Luther Siler.
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, first published in 1941. A Caldecott Medal Winner it motivated a popular sculpture in Boston’s Public Gardens of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings, and the annual mothers’ day Ducklings parade.

16 thoughts on “A Boston Tradition

  1. Melinda Kucsera December 9, 2015 / 11:12 pm

    This is a great feel good piece! I like your angle on this. It’s unique and very interesting and you didn’t kill the chicken. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 10, 2015 / 12:16 am

      Well….I could have gone for the rubber chicken! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Melinda Kucsera December 10, 2015 / 12:19 am

        I’m glad you didn’t! Enough people went that route. Yours is much more creative 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Claire Fuller December 10, 2015 / 4:36 am

    This is a lovely story and beautifully written. I didn’t understand all of it until i read your explanation about the book and tradition, but I was happy to let the words flow over me and just enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 10, 2015 / 7:17 am

      Tis the season for happy and gentle stories. Glad you enjoyed it. As I mentioned to Rochelle, I was concerned about the confusion (hurrah for this C idea) and so changed it just a bit. It is though, Boston based. Added the word “parade” in the first paragraph to ground it a bit more. Hope that helps? Many thanks for the read an honest reply.


  3. rochellewisoff December 10, 2015 / 5:30 am

    Dear Lillian,

    I was a little lost in this at first and appreciated the explanation. Charming story.



    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 10, 2015 / 7:15 am

      It is a bit Boston based. Concerned about the confusion, I changed it just a tad….added the word “parade” in the first paragraph. Hopefully that helps the reader at least understand the premise of the story. Thanks for the read and glad, that even with a bit of confusion, you enjoyed it.


  4. misskzebra December 10, 2015 / 10:57 am

    When first reading it, I just assumed the feathers were part of some mother’s day crafting, but the explanation towards the end of the story was good. I think adding the word parade definitely has helped.

    A feel-good story that’s well linked to the prompt! Now trying to repeat “She sat sipping sherry,” out loud, twenty times, without accidentally saying any expletives. :’)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ansumani December 10, 2015 / 11:36 am

    Beautiful story and I learned a bit more about the ducklings I saw in Boston.

    C- I thought that the description in the first para about “Pictures of children covered in yellow feathers. Thirty years of moms pushing buggies, pulling wagons, kids quacking.” was a metaphor for a parade with costumes …so I was not far off from the actual parade you had in mind.
    I understood from the note below why Mrs. Closkey thought her daughter made her father proud – but didn’t make that connection before reading the note. I think you tried to make that connection with “his legacy…” statement but it was lost on me.

    But even with these minor confusion ( on my part) I think the story still conveyed the emotions you were looking to evoke. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 10, 2015 / 11:41 am

      Thanks much for the thoughtful read. Yes, it’s Robert McCloskey’s legacy — the author’s. His wonderful book, Make Way for Ducklings (a Caldecott winner) and then the parade (and also the sculpture).


    • lillian December 10, 2015 / 3:06 pm

      Yay Bjorn!!! You have made me smile — thank you thank you! 🙂


    • lillian December 10, 2015 / 6:12 pm

      So glad you liked it, Yolanda. Thank you for the very kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Allan G. Smorra December 12, 2015 / 7:45 pm

    A lovely blend of history and fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

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