Animals in Literature

Home » Books about Animals » One Duck

One Duck


Hazel Hutchins, an Albertan and award-winning author wrote a beautiful story about a farmer and a duck. The farmer out on his tractor on a cool day comes across a nest of eggs. Seeing the nest he decides to move it out of the way. The story explores compassion and co-existing with nature and other living things.




Why use this book?

  • illustrates how nature and human interests can co-exist
  • discusses importance of respect for all living things
  • Has great use of imagery and language
  • Provide the opportunity to discuss unintended consequences

Note for teachers:

In the story, the farmer stops his tractor to move a nest of duck eggs. However, moving a duck’s nest violates the Wildlife Act section 36(1) that indicates that a person cannot disturb, or destroy the nest, den or beaver dam of certain species of wildlife (including migratory birds such as ducks). Although the farmer tried to do the right thing by moving the nest it still may have a negative impact on the duck and her eggs. Next time the farmer should drive around the nest, leaving it undisturbed. It’s important that we learn about issues to promote critically thinking so we can make educated decisions. Classrooms are a great place to practice this!


Ask your students:

  • How is the setting similar to or different from where you live?
  • In what ways have you experienced rural communities?
  • Explain to your students that moving or disturbing wildlife habitats can be detrimental to animals (and many are protected by the law).  Ask: What are other examples of trying to do the right thing but our actions might lead to negative consequences? (ie: picking up baby bunnies, feeding wildlife, etc.)
  • Why is it important that we show respect for animals? The environment?

More info for teachers:


Hazel Hutchins, 1999


Featured Reading

E-news Sign Up

Subscribe to our monthly e-news for activities, ideas and information on integrating humane education into your classroom!