On a morning in late spring, my husband and I canoe a section of the Manistee River. Close to shore a merganser duck is swimming with ten ducklings in a row behind her. Ten.
So I start to wonder, “Can mergansers count?” How would she know if one of her babies was missing if she can’t count? Yet, as we glide past her, Mother Merganser doesn’t even turn her handsome brown head to check on her brood. She trusts that they are right there—all ten of them. And they are, in one long undulating line.