MASON CITY — Hoover Elementary School’s annual duck walk trotted on without much of a hitch on Tuesday.
Well ... except that mama duck got a little protective of her babies and decided she did not like an audience.
Retired Hoover principal Tim Walrod, however, gently carried the mother from the school courtyard, where her ducks were ready to leave their nest, and into the school hallway.
Amid students who lined the hallways to watch the annual trot, Walrod placed her on the floor.
She dutifully — and quackily — led her 10 ducklings, through the school hallways, and outdoors. She led her ducklings across Pierce Avenue to the ponds on the other side.
“She was like, ‘Get me out of here,’ ” said kindergartner Danielle Bolz, 6, laughing at the sight.
“They looked fluffy,” confided fellow kindergartner Jordan Latham, 6, about the ducklings.
The duck walk is an annual event at Hoover, whose courtyard is a favorite spot for mallard nesting.
Each spring, students and staff direct the mother duck and ducklings out of the courtyard, into the hall, and to an outside door where they find their way to the outside. Walrod, noted for his love of the outdoors and wildlife, returns each year for the walk.
The ducks waddle through groups of students — all whom were coached to reamain silent.
A cheer was raised when the ducks made it safely across Pierce.
“They must know that we are a safe haven,” said kindergarten teacher Patricia Davison. “They seem to know we’ll take care of them.”