Many years ago I kept chickens.  I didn’t keep them to eat them.  I didn’t even care if they laid eggs.  I just liked chickens.  Like many things in my life, they became a collection of sorts.  Everyone should have a chicken collection at least once in their life.  But I’m not here to talk about chickens, I’m here to talk about geese.

Since I was keeping a coop anyhow, why not have a couple of geese?  We found a place not too far away that bred Pilgrim geese and I was hell-bent on having some.  The cool thing about Pilgrims is that you can tell the sexes apart.  The males are white and the females are gray. I picked up my goslings, one gray, one white and named them yin and yang.  I brought them home in hopes that they would flourish.  And flourish, they did!

These geese terrorized my poor husband Bill.  He would get out of the car and they would be right there hissing at him with their necks extended.  He was not a fan of the geese, and the feeling was mutual.  In an effort to win them over, he would feed them bread a few pieces at a time.  It didn’t work.

Bill and the geeselate summer 2008 (2013_02_23 22_24_41 UTC)

Let me just make it clear that I realize Bill is dressed rather oddly here.  It’s not often you can see a man feeding geese while wearing a postal uniform shirt and red shorts that look like skorts.  Oh, how I hate those ‘skorty shorts.  He says they are perfect for bike rides.  I think they are the perfect contraceptive fashion statement.  We won’t even talk about the moccasin slippers, but hey…Look at those socks!!!”  How can you NOT look at those socks!?

To be fair, that shocked look on his face is there because he didn’t expect me to take a picture of him.  That face is very much like the face he gave me when I showed him the picture and told him I was going to post it.  He truly is a long-suffering husband.

Obviously, I’ve digressed.  As you can see in the photo, he would tear up the bread and feed them the small pieces.  I have since learned that his feeding ritual wasn’t always so peaceful.  Apparently, when he fed them those bread bits, the geese would often hiss at him and sometimes even charge at him!  My mild-mannered husband would then take the slices of bread, ball them up into goose-seeking projectiles and proceed to take his shots!  The geese were not amused.  I think it’s safe to say that goose-bombing did not improve the Bill/goose diplomacy issues.  He tried to win them over and failed.  He tried to bomb them and failed.  All that resulted was an escalation of force.

You will notice that there are three geese in the top pic, and they are all gray.  That’s because my white gander ended up in a fight.  Somehow a skunk got into the chicken coop. The gander obviously was not happy with the unwanted interloper.  In the scuffle, the chicken door closed behind the skunk, and suddenly and they were in a cage match to the death.  From what I found in the aftermath, it was quite a skirmish.  The combatants were serious.  Dead serious. Neither survived.  I’m glad I wasn’t there to see it.  As it was,  I thought I’d have to put 9 chickens through psychotherapy because they were never the same.  Psycho Chicken…ok, let’s not go there.

I was down to one gray goose.  Yang was gone and Yin was a lone widow goose.  At least she was until the morning I looked out the window and I was seeing triple.  There were three gray geese out there!  Three!  We asked if any of the neighbors were missing two geese.  Truly we asked one neighbor.  There is only one house close enough to make a goose pilgrimage feasible.  No missing geese, however, it was postulated that people up the road had a pair and perhaps they ummm “lost” them on our lawn.  That might be true because one of them had a wing deformity as you can see in the pics.  Perhaps they only wanted mint condition geese.

These three geese, named Yin, Winger, and Goozilla, were well known by all who traveled our road.  They loved the side of the road, especially when it was raining.  If we met someone new and we were trying to describe the place we would always start out with “white cape with the rose hedge….” and by that time they would interject with “You’re the people with the geese!”  I always interpreted that excitable tone to the fact that they liked geese, too.  Bill pointed out that perhaps they had some car-swerving-to-miss-goose excitement near our house and that was the cause of the excitable tone.  What did they know?  I just saw the geese as fun moving lawn ornaments.  Who doesn’t love a moving lawn ornament when it’s fun?

Then the unthinkable happened.  Ok, Bill said it was very thinkable.  Everyone thought it was very thinkable, except me.  I was shocked when Yin was hit by a pulp truck.  She was standing between the rose hedge and the road and had nowhere to go.  I picked up her limp body and placed her on the lawn and went looking for a shovel so I could bury her.  Shovel in hand, I came around the corner of the house and there she was, walking across the lawn!  I won’t say she would have passed a sobriety test because she was pretty wobbly, but she was walking!  By the next day, she was fine.  I never did find out how the pulp truck fared.

This last bit will seem rather far-fetched, but I swear it is true.

I had an online friend who got a kick out of my descriptions of rural life.  He lived in Atlanta and he couldn’t wrap his head around the workings of a town as small as Cornville.  I proposed a test.  I told him to send a postcard addressed like this:

Linda with the geese, 04976

That was it.  No number, no street, not even a town.  That last part was particularly impressive because our town doesn’t have a post office or its own zip code.  Our mail comes out of the next town over.  That meant that a mail carrier, in another town, had to figure out who I was.  I got the envelope in two days.  Not bad from Atlanta.  That wasn’t bad even if it had been properly addressed!  I guess my geese really were famous!

I told my friend I had received it and he asked what the message was inside to prove that I truly got it.  I read it back to him and it said:  “If you get this, I will be astonished.”       Yup, he was astonished.








48 thoughts on “Linda with the Geese

  1. Now for a few takeaways.
    Goose the new chicken,
    Bill with red skorts, red skorts, red skorts, Bill with red skorts on.
    Goose it’s what for dinner, it is to die for.
    Why did the goose cross the road, she didn’t but live to tell about it.
    Yes Virginia, there is a Cornville.
    I hope this doesn’t hiss you off.
    As usual I was chuckling through this.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. But they are so white…next to the skorts and the mocassins and…well…uh…

      I should make it clear that Bill preapproved this post. So there was a bit of an “ok whatever” vibe to his approval, but I did ask him!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I give Bill points for artist creativity! I have been waiting for this post! Geese are the next addition for our farm. I told Wifey it was all your fault! 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh sure. I see how it is. First, you flaunt your folkiness and now you blame me for your goose acquisitions. Seriously, I think you’ll like having them around. Just a word of caution to one barefooter to another. Watch where you step!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mohamad! I will relay your greetings to my poor suffering Bill. It’s amazing he’s put up with so many things over the years. I’m sure more stories of my follies will be divulged as time goes on. haha

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That is hysterical! No need for names, mere agricultural titles will do 🙂
    A friend of mine informed me earlier this week that ducks and chickens may not always get along. Her experience was neither cute nor quirky, and there were no red shorts involved. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I got ducks for my… ninth birthday I believe. We trained our herding dogs (border collies) using them. I sold two of them for a profit and had four very friendly ducks for a good number of years until they were slowly picked off by a fox (to be honest though, they weren’t the smartest ducks in the flock and they were Pekings so they didn’t fly). Eventually, only Quackers was left (who interestingly enough had one eye that was significantly smaller than the other, how she survived the natural selection only God knows), who went to live with the chickens on the property she and her ducky friends used to winter at. She apparently produced delicious eggs, and bathed in the chicken water daily for years to come before going off to ducky heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your post, I had 4 chickens and 1 hen , but I gave up by taking care of them, because I was busy due to my work, however, as for me, I was always waiting for chicken to lay eggs, wow many eggs they gave at that time, but I did not know what to do with it, my family does not like egg, so I was giving it to my next neighbour. Hhhhh, love love love this blog too much😁

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was laughing reading your description of your husband’s relationship with the geese. Just the other day I said to my husband, “someday we’re going to have some geese” and was rather shocked with the immediate emphatic veto “No. We. Are. Not.” LOL (it is very rare for him to express such a strong opinion when I muse about future critters. But apparently he really doesn’t like the idea of geese hissing and flapping at him)


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