Everyone just wants to get home after a day at work, and there’s nothing worse than rush hour traffic. We’ve all gotten caught in that aggravating bumper-to-bumper standstill at 5 pm.
But it turns out that sometimes, that traffic delay is for a good cause.
That’s what happened last week on Patton Avenue, a busy Asheville, North Carolina, thoroughfare.
Assistant manager Grahm Gallupe and mechanic Michael Rhodarmer were working at the local business Mr. Tire—when suddenly they noticed something unusual on the nearby highway.
“I was helping a customer and just happened to glance over and see this little black object walking,” Gallupe told the Citizen-Times.
“Or, waddling, I guess, as fast as a baby duckling can move.”
There was a family of ducks trying to cross the road!
The family of ducks—a mother and her ducklings—were stuck in the highway median, with three lanes of traffic on both sides.
So the tire shop employees knew they had to do something to help:
They held up traffic to let the ducks cross!
“I dropped everything and just went out and stopped cars on Patton,” Gallupe said.
The two men stood by the nearest intersection and urged the vehicles to stop, allowing the ducks to safely make their way across the road.
It sounds like a big ask to make people hold up rush hour traffic, but it turns out people were happy to do it.
“People actually slowed down pretty easily,” Gallupe said. “At one point the mom actually tried to turn around and go the other direction, but Michael kind of redirected her and they made their way across.”
People were even inspired by their actions.
A woman named Marsha Norton Whitt saw the men helping the ducks from her car, took a photo and shared it to Facebook, praising their kindness.
“Whoever these two men are that literally stopped traffic on Patton Avenue to save this little family of ducks are awesome!” she wrote. We all know that at 5 o’clock traffic is crazy and some people just wouldn’t care and most definitely would not step out in traffic!”
“Thank goodness there [are] still good people in the world.”
And the two tire shop employees get to know their mission had a happy ending: the ducks are safe and sound in their new home—a creek behind their shop.
“It was a relief to see them safe back there, splashing and hanging out,” Gallupe said.