I had a close encounter with a goose the other day.  

I was just walking along the pond path, minding my own business, when suddenly I was charged.  This goose bared its fangs, started hissing, and then rushed me.  So I tried reminding it that I am much bigger, made a threatening noise back . . . and then it really GOT MAD.  It was coming for me.  Okay, geese don't really have fangs, I guess, but I could see it was more than ready to back up its angry bark with a little bite. I ran.

Yes, I ran away from a goose.  I'm embarrassed to admit it -- even more embarrassed that I've skipped walking that path for a few days now, but I'm just waiting for mama goose to calm down.  I understand how she feels.  And I'll be back.

I've been watching this goose family all summer.  Nothing more delightful than seeing the mother goose swimming proudly in front, six or seven balls of fluff scurrying along the surface behind her.  A few weeks ago they went through the awkward stage -- not so capital C "Cute" anymore -- about like an 8 or 9 year old getting his adult teeth before his face catches up.  But still swimming in their dutiful line.

Now they are definitely young adults.  It's getting pretty hard to tell the parents from the kids.  Except that there's one that tries to kill anyone who gets too close, so I'm pretty sure I know who that is.  The funny thing is, they're all still swimming along in a line behind her.  Everywhere they go.  Despite the thousands of high-summer distractions taking place in pond-land every second. And it makes me smile.

I'll bet it makes her smile, too.  We understand each other.  I know that when she looks back, it feels good to see her grown up babies still falling in line behind her.  Whether they're doing it because it gives them comfort knowing she's in charge, or because it gives her comfort knowing they're still around . . . I get it.  And I know that she'll continue to imagine them there when she looks back, long after they've flown away to wherever it is grown up geese go when they leave the nest.



Judy said...

Swimming in line behind her? Wow. What's her secret?

Leenie said...

I'm with you on running from a charging goose! And I don't consider myself too much of a wanny. It seems better to face down and yell at a dog. Running away from a dog only makes things worse. But a goose---with all that honking and wing beating and potential pinching---RUN! Not good to get between any mom and her baby.

susan m hinckley said...

Thanks, Leenie -- others have made fun but now I feel vindicated.

Allie said...

You have to run! They get mean! Your post made me a bit melancholy - my ducklings are so close to flying away.

susan m hinckley said...

It happens, Allie -- you think it never will, and then . . .*poof*

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