A happy ending for Webster the Midhurst mallard

IN WINTER time Webster, the six year old mallard, likes nothing better than to curl up indoors at his Midhurst home in front of the fire with Bonnie, the rescued Border Collie, but his story did not always look like having a happy ending.

It began in Spring 2006 when Alma Wheeler, owner of the Midhurst bookshop, agreed to look after a friend’s house.

C130356-2 Mid Webster phot kate''Alma Wheeler with Webster.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C130356-2

C130356-2 Mid Webster phot kate''Alma Wheeler with Webster.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C130356-2

Two days later she unlocked the garden gate and found a wild mallard and seven tiny ducklings.

The logical place for the duck to be trying to take her babies was South Pond - three busy roads and a roundabout away.

Alma collected a cardboard box and with the help of her son Simon they caught the family and took them to the pond.

They tipped the family onto the water and things began to go horribly wrong.

The resident flock of mallards immediately attacked scattering the ducklings and forcing mother duck under the water. She managed to surface and took off.

Alma and Simon tried to catch the ducklings but only managed to grab one.

Read author Wendy Lewis’ story of Webster in the Midhurst and Petworth Observer, March 14