Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I remember the mention of a cargo ship losing a container of rubber ducks into the Arctic seas. 7,200 each of ducks, turtles, frogs and beavers.

Donovan Hohn, an English teacher inspired by a student’s essay,  thoroughly researched the happening and wrote a book about it – Moby-Duck . It sat all by itself in a place of prominence on a shelf in our local library, designated as ‘Director’s Choice’. I snagged it before the masses could!

The January 10, 1992 event caught the attention of many curious persons – beachcombers, oceanographers, journalists. A plethora of articles were written about the event. Eric Carle felt inspired to write a children’s book after he read one of the articles.

I bonded with Hohn’s book when I read the first paragraph of the prologue. It was the last line that gave me cause for devotion:

“I just wanted to learn what had really happened, where the toys had drifted and why. I loved the part about containers falling off a ship, the part about the oceanographers tracking the castaways with the help of far-flung beachcombers. I especially loved the part about the rubber duckies crossing the Arctic, going cheerfully where explorers had gone boldly and disastrously before.”

I imagine those rubber (actually polyethylene) duckies surfing on those original 30 foot swells that caused their container to take a tumble into the sea – the navigating paths through icebergs – and the long travail of seven years later washing up on the shore of an east coast Maine beach (year predicted by an avid beachcomber/oceanographer) with the same cheery disposition.

Something to contemplate as I traverse my own icebergs and waterways.