"Mom!" shouted David. "Mom, Blacktail is off of her nest. She has ten ducklings!"
"That is super," said Mom. "We need to check her nest."
"Why?" asked David.
"Sometimes a duckling will hatch late. His mom will not go back to the nest," said Mom.
"What would happen?" asked David.
"The duckling would have no one to protect it," said Mom. "It might die."
"Come on, Mom," said David. "We need to go out and check the nest now!"
Mom dried her hands from doing dishes. She followed David out to the large duck pen.
Inside the pen was a pool. It was a small plastic kid's pool. It was full of water. There were some bricks in the water. They were like steps to the top of the pool. They were there to help the babies get out.
Mama duck was near the pool. Her ducklings were around her. She hissed at Mom and David. She was telling them to stay away.
Mom opened the gate. She and David stayed away from the ducks. They did not want Mama Duck to get upset.
They looked into the duck house. There was the nest. Mom pointed to two eggs still in the nest. She checked one. It was a dud. It would not hatch.
The other egg was hatching. The duckling was partly out. David picked it up. The egg felt cold. The duckling was getting weak.Paragraphs 14 to 27:
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