My Rescue Geese – Part 2

As I leaned over, one goose under one arm, reaching out to the other goose, a couple of Asian men came out of the fitness center.

Imagine this picture, if you will. A few days after Christmas, in the full moon light, a woman is standing outside of your fitness center with a goose under her left arm, reaching for another.

The men chuckled, while I, naively, imagined one of them might help me. I said, “These are domestic geese. They cannot fly. They can’t take care of themselves. I’m trying to catch the other one.”

“Are you going to call animal control?” one of them asked.

“Sure,” I said, thinking, no. No, I don’t think so.

I reached out and, bingo! grabbed the neck of the other goose. There I hovered, one goose under arm, the other, neck in hand. The second goose stood patiently, as though this is what he did with strangers every day, while I held his neck.

Right then a young man came out of the fitness center. Taking in the scene, he said, “Are you catching the geese?”

Which made everyone – including me – laugh. Index under: “Making a Statement of the Profoundly and Absurdly Obvious.” I wanted to come up with and even funnier “no, I’m (fill-in-the-blank).” But with a goose under one arm and a neck in the other hand, I simply said, “Could you please help me?”

“Okay,” he came up to me.

“Could you pick up this other goose? Just put you hands around his wings and put him under your arm.”

“Okay,” he said. “I’m not afraid of geese,” he said, not moving.

“Good. There’s nothing to be afraid of. These are very young geese, and they’re clearly confused. I’m guessing they got too big or too noisy for whoever thought it’d be cute to have a pair of geese, and they put them in the pond by the road. The geese came over here where they saw people.”

He finally picked up to goose.

“Which was not very smart,” I continue, “as these are domestic geese. They can’t fly, and you don’t put them in with wild birds.” I had figured this all out as I pursued the geese, and my frustration and annoyance with people who are irresponsible with animals rose.

The Asian men, seeing that the geese were captured and the larger portion of the drama over, wandered off to their cars. I asked the young man to hold onto the goose for a minute while I went inside.

I stepped into the fitness center and – this is the part of the story where you, dear reader, get to play…. A woman steps into a fitness center with a goose under her arm and says…. _______________________________________________________.

Anyway, what I did say to the young man behind the counter was, “There are these two domestic geese in the parking lot. I’m going to take them home with me. If anyone comes in saying they’re missing their geese, you know who I am, let me know.”

He nodded at me, utterly bemused, like, “Where’s the hidden camera?”

I went back outside. The goose-holding young man had attracted a couple of girls, who thought it was too adorable that he was holding the pretty goose, and can we pet him?

I happened to have a couple of big totes in the back of my Subaru station wagon. The geese had a nice little spot to settle in behind them. Otherwise, they would have been flying all over the car. My goose-holding friend put the goose he held in the car, I put the goose I held in the car and he slowly closed down the hatch door as I held onto the geese.

I stood and shook his hand. “You’ve done a good deed tonight. You’ve earned positive karma for helping these poor little geese, who probably would have been run over before long if we hadn’t rescued them.”

He nodded, waved and headed for his car. I – or we, the geese and I – headed for home.

End of Part 2 (Stay tuned for: Rescue Geese – Part 3 – Their New Home)

My Rescue Geese – Part 1

I have pet geese. You’ll never know how wonderful, smart, funny and companionable a goose can be unless and until you get to know one for yourself. It’s important, for the full appreciation of the story I’m about to tell, to realize two things about domestic geese:

  1. They are very social. And I don’t mean just with other geese. They are social with people. If they’ve been raised in a fairly friendly relationship with a person, they will run to you when you step outside, they will chat amiably with you when you sit down and talk with them, or when you put them to bed.
  2. Domestic geese cannot fly. They have great and glorious wings, which they flap mightily when they run, but rarely will they leave the ground more than a few inches for more than three or four seconds.

So – on to my story.

One evening, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I went to my yoga class at my local fitness center. I came out into the night and looked up at a gorgeous full moon in a clear, cold sky. As I started to leave the parking lot, I noticed two birds near the front entrance of the fitness center, standing in the roadway. They were fairly large, and, from the distance, I decided they must be a couple of seagulls, glowing white under the moonlight.

But something about their body language took my attention. Their “shoulders” were sort of slumped, and one thing a sea gull never does is slump his shoulders. If it was just one seagull, I’d think it was not well, but two? No, that’s too strange.

I whipped my car around and drove up to the birds, who stood, forlorn and clearly confused, in the road.

They were a pair of domestic African Grey geese – the very same sort of geese I have! Standing in the parking lot of the fitness center, at the edge of a shopping area, with no reasonable place for them to have come from for miles. I parked my car, got out and walked up to them.

Now, here’s the deal with domestic geese. If you sit quietly, they will come up to you to chat. But if you pursue them, they run. The two geese evaded me, but without conviction. When I stopped and just talked to them, they stopped. By bits and starts, I finally got ahold of one of them. Although she appeared fairly large and was fully fledged, when I picked her up she weighed about half what I expected, and I could tell then that she was quite young – barely a teenager in goose terms.

The challenge now – how to get the other goose with one under my arm?

End of Part One
Stay tuned for more goose adventures.