Spring is springing and it is raining today. That’s ok, trees are budding, grass is growing, flowers are blooming, redbuds are beautiful, birds building nests and laying eggs, and our menagerie is fulfilling their destiny. The geese are nesting. Ahh, the geese!
They arrived in a cardboard box through the U.S. Postal Service about a year ago, this thundering herd of geese. Namely three Sebastopol goslings, which have since become like full grown Geese, two males and a female, depending on whom is making the assessment. The “Rancherette” presumes the opposite of my viewpoint. We are sure about the one named Indie, a gander and Shya, a female. I find it odd that a female goose does not have a specific gender name other than a “goose.” The one named Bailey, is the one in question, a “goose” or a gander? But it is a gender neutral name.
Regardless, they frequent our lives on a daily basis, honking, nibbling at the pants legs, flapping their wings in a not-so-subtle way of discouraging your presence or demanding your attention.
They can untie your shoes, strip the cushion ties from the patio chairs, scare the bejabbers out of you and clearly intimidate you, all the while creating an atmosphere of amusement. During the mating season, this becomes much more prevalent. You do not want to turn your back on these obstinate, two-legged, pillow-making waterfowl. Things could get ugly in a heartbeat.
When they were younger they were trained to go into their pen on command. Utter the words, “Geeses, let’s go home” and they would immediately walk ever so slowly into their pen. Actually, they do not walk, they waddle. They stumble over any obstacle in their path, be it a pine cone or a tree root. But the going home part, not so much now they are grown. Resistance has become the norm. Hence, the pants-leg gnawing. We use a child’s rake to guide them home. They will wrest it from your hands, believing it is an orange-colored predator and will bite it to death. If your finger is substituted , they can gnaw ‘til it’s raw. They make excellent guard geese. We already have Poodle Home Security. Now we have a subsidiary company, as well, the Geese Patrol.
Much like the Postal Service, rain, sleet nor snow will not discourage them from their appointed duties, like swimming in their ¼ acre pond no matter the temperature. They do not mingle with the chickens or dogs, although there is occasional interaction between the pens. They are very curious birds and intent on observing everything you do. Always watching, they do not miss anything. The kennel dogs roam freely throughout their portion of the back yard, taking care not to violate the demarcation line next to the fence that separates one from the other.
Alfie, our resident Airedale troublemaker, who has a personal relationship with hardheadedness, can report first hand the effects of encroaching too close to the fence. The other kennel dogs must have observed that infraction and thus, are very reluctant to repeat Alfie’s action. If you ask Alfie, she will show you her scars.
So, here on the Fuzzy Chicken Farm, there is an assortment of poultry and canines. Until the cardboard boxes arrived last year, it was a peaceful co-existence. We still co-exist; however, it is a delicate arrangement. After all, they are the royalty of the Fuzzy Chicken Farm.
Spring is springing. Beware of cardboard boxes arriving in the mail. It could be a thundering herd of geese. Honk! Honk!