A mother duckling has found a special home at a Michigan elementary school courtyard, where she returns each year to lay her eggs before making a widely-anticipated journey.
After laying her eggs, the beloved duck -- named Vanessa -- reportedly walks the hallways of Village Elementary School, in Hartland, making it safely to a nearby pond with the help of students and staff.
Vanessa has appeared at the school for the past 13 years, Time reports. Her latest waddle through the school reportedly took place on Thursday.
Proud mama leads ducklings on annual waddle through elementary school https://t.co/uCgmYaEl7B
— TIME.com (@TIME) May 2, 2016
Every year, she flies into the closed-off courtyard and lays her eggs, in plain sight of curious students who can peek out of their classroom windows to watch nature take its course.
Vanessa can be seen digging out her nest, laying her eggs and waiting for them to hatch.
After the ducklings finally appear, teachers and students tape black construction paper along the school walls.
They create a clear path for the ducks to get to a nearby pond outside the school, and make sure everyone is out of Vanessa’s path. This year, she waited by the courtyard door for it to be unlocked, and then waddled in with her eight ducklings.
Wasting no time, it took her just minutes to get through the building.
“It’s so unusual,” said Elizabeth Krause, a mother who witnesses the tradition annually. “But everyone gets so invested in this duck because how cool is it that she comes back each and every year.”