A family of nine—a mother and her eight offspring—have lived in Boston Public Garden for 30 years. They are the bronze statues of the “Mallard” family, from the 1941 classic children’s book Make Way For Ducklings, and they have been a family favorite in the park since their installation in 1987.
In the book, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard come to Boston to look for a home, and are excited by the beautiful Public Garden. But after seeing humans walking and cycling around fast, they deem it too dangerous for their soon-to-be-born ducklings. After the ducklings hatch, Mrs Mallard teaches them to swim and watch out for themselves, and the family come back to a tiny island in the garden’s lagoon.
The statues were designed by Nancy Schön and placed there “as a tribute to Robert McCloskey, whose story Make Way For Ducklings has made the Boston Public Garden familiar to children throughout the world,” as the plaque at the site reads. The entire brood—Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack—have taken up 35 feet on old Boston cobblestone in the park. The family is quite fashionable, and is dressed up in seasonal costumes, or sports jerseys, if the local teams are doing well.