By Heather O.
We have a little pond near our house. It has turtles, fish, ducks, you know, pond life. This season, it also has a family of geese, complete with 8 goslings.Today is a gorgeous, sunny, low humidity day, so I took my littlest angel out to enjoy the sunshine and to visit this fowl family, thinking that her little 2 year old mind would delight in seeing some fuzzy things.
We walked up to the pond, and the family was grazing on the other side. I figured we were at a safe distance, and I pointed out the tiny, fluffy little geese to my daughter, who did indeed squeal with delight at the all the fuzziness. Two year olds are good like that.
But then, the family put to the water, and came gliding right over to us. It was all very “Make Way For Duckling”-esque, but without the Charles River and impending death by Cadillac. The goslings had no fear, and came up, squeaking, mouths open, doing their best impression of my dog under the highchair at lunchtime. It lead me to the only obvious conclusion:
These are city goslings. They’re spoiled rotten. Maybe it was a “Make Way for Ducklings” moment after all. Again, though, without the impending death, unless you count death by large amounts of goose poop, in which case, yes, we were indeed risking our very lives and soles. (hee, hee. Little shoe joke, there. What can I say, sunshine brings out the hilarity in me.)
They soon discovered that we didn’t have any breadcrumbs, so they ignored us. Little Sister, though, was still entranced, so she crouched down to get a better look at these soft creatures that had so ignited the fuzzy-loving part of her toddler brain.
Momma Goose did not like that.
I mean, I suppose to a goose, a two year old crouching could be considered threatening, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when Momma Goose got all up in my daughter’s face. Still, when she continued to hiss at Little Sister, and stick out her weird birdie tongue thingie, well, I decided I needed to take a little action to protect my own little gosling, who, if you want to get technical about it, is a pretty fuzzy little thing herself.
So I kind of hissed back, and made a sudden movement toward the Momma Goose, so she’d back off and not bite my daughter, who was, indeed, not harming the little brood in the least. And, after all, they came to us, begging for a handout.
But wouldn’t you know it, that Momma Goose didn’t back down. The opposite, in fact, and looked all the world like a rattler ready to strike.
It was on. Oh, it was so on. Momma a momma (which I hope is a play on the expression mano a mano, which I also hope means “man to man”. If I’m wrong about all of this, I apologize for venturing into the arena of making no sense. Sadly, though, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve visited such a place).
I clapped my hands and hissed even louder and then yelled, “Hey! Back off!” This time, my voice seemed to register, and the Momma Goose finally did back off and get back into the water, always keeping a watchful eye on my offspring. Her offspring, though, seem to have a serious lack of attention and a small memory, because they came back our way begging. When again they found we had no bread crumbs, the entire family took off back to their sanctuary across the pond, and I spent the better half of 15 minutes making sure my little gosling didn’t follow them. Her feet, thankfully, are not quite as webbed as theirs, and her hair, although seriously fluffy, is not quite so waterproof.
Telling her these things, however, did little to dampen the tantrum that ensued when we left. Go figure.
We waved goodbye to the little family between shrieks, and got another hiss in return. That was one seriously pissed off goose.
Mothers. I guess underneath it all, feathers or scales, we’re all pretty much the same.