This section of the book is from the "Stories of Animal Sagacity" book, by William Henry Giles Kingston.
Mrs F—, who has had much experience with poultry, considers them very sensible and kind-hearted birds. The leg of a young duck had been broken by an accident. She placed it in splints, and put the bird under a small crate, on a patch of grass, to prevent its moving about till it had recovered. It was one of a large family; and in a short time its relatives gathered round the prisoner, clamouring their condolence in every variety of quacking intonation. They forced their necks under the crate, evidently trying to raise it, and thus liberate the captive; but the effort was beyond their strength. Convinced, at length, of this, after clamouring a little more they marched away in a body, while the prisoner quietly sat down and appeared resigned.
A short time afterwards a great deal of quacking was heard, and a regiment of upwards of forty ducks was seen marching into the yard, headed by two handsome drakes, known by the names of Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. Evidently with a preconceived purpose, they all marched up to the crate and surrounded it. Every neck was thrust beneath the lowest bar of the prison; every effort was made to raise it,—but in vain. At length a parley ensued. Then the noise ceased. Only the deep-toned quacking of Robin Hood was heard, when their object became clear. All the tribe gathered together on one side of the crate, the strongest in front; and as many as could reach it thrust their necks beneath the crate, while the rest pushed them forward from behind. Thus they succeeded in overturning the crate, and setting free their imprisoned friend. With clamourous rejoicings from the whole troop, the liberated duck limped off in their midst.
These sensible ducks teach us the important lesson that union is strength. Not that they, you will agree with me, showed their wisdom exactly in liberating their companion, who was placed in confinement for his benefit. However, remember through life how much you may effect in a good cause by sinking all minor differences, and uniting with others like-minded with yourself.