Darby the Duck Who Roared

Mommy and Daddy Duck were excited about the new baby!

After the egg arrived the whole family, including Danny, Denny, Denise and Doober Duck waited to see if the baby would be a brother or sister.

The Duck Family always watched the little egg, nestled in its soft warm nest, tucked into the green woods. Each day the children tried to pick a name for the new family member. 

“Let’s name it Pickles,” Danny laughed.

“No, not Pickles,” Mommy Duck said.

“Let’s name it Digger,” Denny said.

“No. Not Digger,” Mommy Duck said. 

“Let’s call it Daisy,” Denise suggested. 

“No. Not Daisy,” Mommy Duck said.

“Let’s call it Diapers,” Doober giggled.

Mommy Duck laughed too.

“No. Not even Diapers,” Mommy Duck said. “I promise, when it’s time, our new baby will have a wonderful Duck Family name.”

One warm sunny day the tiny egg started to rock back and forth.

“Mommy, Mommy, the baby is coming!” Denny Duck called out.

The entire family soon gathered around the little egg and watched as it began to bounce faster and faster.

The children squealed with excitement!

“Shhhh. Not so loud, children. You might scare the baby,” Daddy Duck said. 

The egg suddenly stopped moving, and everything was very quiet. 

Suddenly there was a loud crack that made the whole Duck Family jump.

Crack! Crack! Crack!

The egg made a pop, plop, and a ploop as a little head peeked out and smiled at the family.

Mommy and Daddy Duck waddled over and helped their new fuzzy yellow baby climb out of its shell. 

“And I have the perfect name,” Mommy Duck announced. “Meet your new little brother everyone.”

“Hi Pickles,” Danny said.

“No. Not Pickles,” Mommy Duck laughed. “Meet Darby.” 

Darby opened his mouth to say “hi” but instead of a quack, a loud roar came out!

Mommy and Daddy Duck looked at each other.

“Did he just burp?” Daddy Duck asked, surprised. 

“No,” Mommy Duck said. “I think it was a roar.”

“Like a lion?” Daddy Duck asked.

“Yes.” Mommy Duck whispered. 

Danny, Denny, Denise, and Doober all pointed at Darby and began to laugh. 

“You sound like a monster,” Denny laughed. 

Darby waddled over to his brothers and sister and started to laugh with them. 

“What are you laughing at?” Denise Duck asked. “Stay away from me Darby! You’re a duck who roars like a lion.” 

“Darby roars like a lion! Darby roars like a lion!” his brothers and sister sang as they danced around him in a circle. 

Darby’s smile turned to tears as he waddled over to Mommy and Daddy Duck.

Daddy Duck put his wing around Darby Duck, kissed his son’s head, and pulled him close.

“We love you, son,” Daddy Duck said. “It will be OK.”

As Darby snuggled his little beak into Daddy Duck’s warm feathers he started to feel better. 

Darby Duck waddled away and sat under a big shade tree as tears rolled down his beak. All Darby Duck wanted was to be loved.

As Darby Duck grew older, he loved to play with other ducks.

After a lot of hard work, he learned to talk in a high squeaky quack. 

Darby Duck tried hard to make new friends, but when he got excited, the roar exploded from his beak and scared everyone!

At Darby Duck’s first birthday party, he was given a bright blue ball to play with in the pond. 

It was just what he wanted.

Darby Duck got so excited about the ball, that a deep roar from inside rumbled out and made the walls shake and water ripple. 

The other Duck Families, along with the Froggy Family and Mrs. Bosco Beaver all gathered up their babies and rushed home. 

The parents would not let them play with Darby Duck anymore. 

One day at school there was a loud thunderstorm! The lightning flashed and a clap of thunder boomed and made all the students jump, including Darby!

Darby Duck felt the roar build in his body. He tried to stop it by putting his wings over his mouth, but the roar was too strong. The roar rushed out of his beak and scared the students and teachers.

Darby Duck was not allowed to go to school again. 

Darby Duck was sad, no one wanted to play with him, so he played by himself wandering deep into the woods. 

He sat by a tree close to a pond. He listened as leaves made songs in the blowing wind. Darby Duck liked to look into the blue sky and watch the puffy white clouds form shapes like angels, puppies, and butterflies. 

But Darby Duck was alone.

“Gosh I wish I had a friend,” Darby Duck said as he talked to his reflection in the pond. Soon after, tears rolled down his beak.

All of a sudden Darby heard a loud strange noise. The noise sounded like a giant egg cracking!

Darby Duck waddled toward the sound and sniffed deeply. It smelled bad. It was the worst smell a woodland animal could smell. It was smoke!

Darby Duck looked up and saw a giant wall of orange and red fire high in the trees and low in the bushes. The fire was moving fast but there were no animals around. 

Darby Duck knew he had to warn the other animals as he tried to yell out, but there was no sound. The smoke had gotten into Darby Duck’s mouth and hurt his throat. He tried and tried but no sound came out. 

Darby Duck coughed and coughed and coughed as he tried to clear his throat. But the more he coughed, the more his throat hurt. 

Darby Duck jumped into the air and flew toward the green woods. Darby flew fast and high. He could see the fire was twisting around the woods but the fire stopped before it hit the marshy swamps where he lived. 

As Darby Duck flew high in the clear sky above the smoke his lungs filled with fresh air, and he could quack in his tiny squeak again.

Darby Duck was almost home when he looked down and saw the Froggy Family, Mrs. Bosco Beaver, the Rabbit Family, the Wolf Family, and the Fox Family running all around.

Darby Duck landed and told the families about the fire. But the smoke was so thick the woodland folk could not see where to run. 

“Look up and follow me, I can see the way,” Darby Duck told Mr. Fox. 

Darby Duck flew high, but the families could not see him through the dark smoke. 

Darby Duck tried to yell directions, but he could not be heard over the approaching flames.

Suddenly Darby Duck felt a great big roar growing deep inside. Darby Duck opened his beak and roared louder than he ever had before. 

All the woodland families, including Mrs. Bosco Beaver, ran toward Darby Duck’s roar. 

“Follow the roar,” Mommy Fox told everyone.“It’s Darby Duck. He knows the way to the swampy marsh.”

Soon all the woodland animals were following Darby Duck’s roar.

When Darby Duck saw the swampy marsh, he was so tired he fell to the ground and crashed into a bush. Darby Duck closed his eyes, he was so tired he fell asleep.

When Darby Duck awoke, he was surrounded by smiling faces. Mommy Duck was holding his head as Daddy Duck washed the black soot from Darby Duck’s feathers.

“Mommy? Is everyone OK?” Darby Duck asked.

“Yes, honey. Everyone is OK, thanks to you!”

Mommy said. “You saved the woodland animal families and we are all so proud of you.”

Danny, Denny, Denise, and Doober Duck smiled at their brother, the hero!

Everyone gathered around Darby Duck and sang and danced around him.

Mayor Billy Bear was smiling as he shook Darby Duck’s wing and rubbed his feathered head. 

Mayor Billy Bear asked everyone to gather in a circle around him as he raised a giant brown paw. 

The mayor said in a deep voice as he cleared his throat. 

“We’ve learned an important lesson today,” Mayor Billy Bear said as he looked around at the animals. “We are not all the same. Some of us live in trees, others live in the water. Some of us sing, some squeak, some quack, and some of us even roar,” Mayor Billy Bear said, smiling at Darby. 

The giant mayor raised both paws and looked at each animal in the circle.

“We are all different. But we are all important and have special gifts and talents to share,” the mayor said. “Darby’s roar led us to safety and saved us. Let’s look at differences in a new way, and not be afraid of them. Congratulations, Darby, on a job well done.” 

The woods exploded in cheers as everyone clapped for Darby. 

When Darby Duck woke up that morning, he had wished for just one friend. 

But by the end of the day, and from that day on, everyone wanted to be Darby Duck’s friend. They all understood now that different doesn’t mean scary. Darby Duck now knew that he, and his roar, were very important.  

He felt happy and loved.

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