One fateful day in the 1980s, Linda Robbins got 25 little surprises in the crawlspace of her garage.
A mother duck and her two dozen chicks decided to make beneath her garage would be a nice little sanctuary.
The day of capturing ducklings, overcoming mistakes and finding a new home for the little creatures more than 20 years ago is now the subject of Robbins’ first book, “Mrs. Robbins’ Ducky Day.”
Robbins taught art at Eastside Elementary until her retirement in 2007, and she has recounted her duck story, among others, to her students for years. She always considered turning her tales into children’s books, but it wasn’t until she got some encouragement from then third-grader Charlie Dubree that she buckled down.
“He says, ‘Mrs. Robbins, when your story is a real book, I want to buy one,’” she said. “I had to get going on it after he said that. He was just that little boost.”
Robbins, who now substitutes for Anderson Community Schools, said she had always considered putting her stories on paper because the students always asked to hear them. Out of all of them, she settled on publishing her duck tale because of its popularity at Eastside Elementary.
“They wanted me to tell it over, and over, and over again,” she said.
It took Robbins three years to finish the book and get it published. After going through a couple of different illustrators, Robbins eventually picked Stacy H. Oneal, a former student.
She dedicated the book to her students at Eastside.
Once the book was complete, she made sure to contact Dubree, who is now in the sixth grade. She met up with him at Highland Middle School and gave him his own copy of the book.
“I thought it was amazing she got it finished after so long,” he said. “I said if I ever found one in the stores I would get one and I was surprised she presented me with a copy.”