The day was in 1959 on what seemed like a typical spring.
The setting: Copenhagen, in the Frederiksberg neighborhood at rush hour. Earlier in the day, a mother duck was leading her ducklings around the community.
It is this day that Danes will remember for decades to come.
The family of ducks was wandering around peacefully when they made their way into the middle of the street. A nearby police officer—the hero of our story—saw what was happening in the nick of time. The officer jumped into action, immediately stopping all vehicle and pedestrian traffic for the duck and ducklings’ trek. Thanks to his quick thinking, the family was able to waddle across the road to safety, completely unharmed.
This kindness made waves across the city as news of the event spread. Someone managed to capture a photograph of this caring act, and the resulting image was published in local newspapers and became a touching story in Danish history.
It’s a moment immortalized in a photo that’s now been popular for decades. In fact, the original image has since inspired Viggo Vagnby’s famous piece of art, Wonderful Copenhagen, and Hans Bølling’s Teak Duck & Duckling Model Set. Bølling’s figures depict the mother duck and one of her ducklings, bringing the heartwarming encounter to homes across the world.