Friendly Floatees

By Alison Stone

The ocean is pocked with plastic—

28,000 ducks, plus some beavers, turtles, and frogs.

Smiling painted bills bob in the waves.

Intended to float in bathtubs,

 

28,000 ducks, plus some beavers, turtles, and frogs,

were tossed from a cargo ship in a storm.

Intended to float only in bathtubs,

they make it to the Arctic, drift in blocks of ice.

 

Tossed from cargo ships in storms,

up to 10,000 crates per year spill into the sea.

Some make it to the Arctic and drift in blocks of ice.

A load of sneakers teaches scientists about ocean currents.

 

Up to 10,000 crates per year spill into the sea

unreported. No headlines, no books.

Teaching scientists about ocean currents,

after 17 years, Floatees reach the Atlantic

 

and make international headlines, two children’s books.

The toy company offers a $100 per duck reward.

Hearing that Floatees have reached the Atlantic,

artist Marga Houtman builds them a giant duck mother.

 

Though the toy company offers a $100 per duck reward,

fewer than a thousand are captured.

Marga Houtman displays the giant duck mother.

Britain Prepares for an Armada of Ducks.

 

Fewer than a thousand are captured.

Britain Prepares for an Armada of Ducks.

The ocean is pocked with plastic.

Smiling painted bills bob in the waves.


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