The Ducks’ New Clothes

By Lenore F. Frodsham

(Based on a story from the author’s family)

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The poor ducks! Ann didn’t want them to get cold.

“The hearts of the children turn to their fathers. Malachi prophesied the hearts shall turn” (Children’s Songbook, 92–93).

The Ducks’ New Clothes

It took Ann and Walter Huish a long time and a lot of determination to make it to the Salt Lake Valley. Their pioneer journey started in England, where the missionaries taught and baptized them. But Walter and Ann wanted to live close to other members of the Church. They decided to leave their home in England and sail across the ocean to America. Their voyage took 50 days!

Next they had to take a boat up the Mississippi River. They stopped in St. Louis, where Walter worked hard to earn money for the trek to the Salt Lake Valley. He worked for many years so they could have money to make the trip. Finally they were able to travel the final 1,300 miles (2,090 km) across the plains. At last their trek was over!

Walter and Ann settled down in the small town of Payson, Utah. Lots of other Church members lived there, and Walter and Ann were excited to raise their family there. They built a home and started a shop to build machines and furniture.

Walter took care of the shop. Ann took care of their home and a flock of ducks. She was very proud of her ducks. One day, when she went out to hang some clothes out to dry, she saw something very shocking. Her ducks were all lying still on the ground.

The poor ducks! Ann was so sad that her precious ducks had died. She sat down to think about what to do. Then she went to find a large flour sack. She knew that the ducks’ feathers would be good for making beds, pillows, and quilts. Ann sadly plucked the feathers off the ducks. Then she took the big bag of feathers inside, leaving the ducks lying peacefully on the ground.

That evening Walter came home from his shop. He looked confused. “What happened to the ducks?” he asked. “Why are they running around without their feathers?”

Ann rushed outside. She was so surprised to see her featherless ducks running about in confusion. Looking around, Ann noticed a large patch of brightly colored wildflowers nearby. The ducks had eaten the flowers, and the flowers had made the ducks go to sleep. They had slept peacefully while Ann had plucked out their feathers.

Ann didn’t want her ducks to get cold. So she went right to work knitting a sweater for each one of them. The ducks’ sweaters kept them warm until their feathers grew back. But until then, they were finest and best-dressed ducks in town!

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