A 63-year-old Dutch man was surprised but worried when he awoke Thursday morning to find a family of nine swans drinking from the ditch. A local draught had dried up most of the water in his yard so Jos Maas decided to do more.

Believing them to be lost, he asked them to follow as he walked toward the road. Father, mother and seven chicks waddled after him.

Like the children’s book, Make Way for Ducklings, he held up his hands to stop traffic and lead the birds to a safe habitat.

“It seemed like they really understood me,” he said, reports the Omroep Brabant. “And once they arrived at the pond, they started beating the wings as if they wanted to thank me.”

Some people seeing the procession began following as Jos’s son took photos.

“I thought it was really beautiful.”

(READ the story in original Dutch– from Omroep Brabant – or CLICK Translate at the top)

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