The morning sun spread a warm smile across the Kanawha River rousing George the mallard from his roost among the oaks. He slowly opened his eyes and took in the beauty of the morning before stretching his wings and taking a deep breath. He stood up and gave himself a quick shake to smooth out his feathers and waddled his way to the edge of river. As he arrived he saw that the river was already occupied as a mated pair of ducks paddled by. Being a friendly and outgoing duck George’s first instincts was to quack out a hardy greeting but then he wondered if they would even want to be greeted? They seemed rather busy and it wouldn’t be neighborly to interrupt them. But then again, they were in the common area of the river. And if they were going to be neighbors he should at least introduce himself. George stretched his neck slightly as he peered over the weeds and decided to go for it. His webbed toes made slapping noises as he got a running start and hopped over the bank. His wings fluttered as he settled into the water. He bobbled a little and paddled out to meet his new friends. “The best people to meet are new friends.” He thought to himself as he swam. As he got closer he noticed the new couple noticing him as well but they never greeted him. Finally George spoke up and introduced himself. The couple responded and as they got to know each other George began to share the best forage spots and all about life on this particular river. As the day went on they found that they had a lot in common. As the days went on they began to help each other with the daily business of being ducks and all did better together than they ever would alone. The morning swim with the pair became a very important part of George’s life in the park. Every so often George would see his friends coming downstream and be reminded that “The best people to meet are new friends.”
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