I am really enjoying my Pilgrim geese, E.B. White and Katharine, otherwise known as “Andy” and “K.”
I’d wanted geese for many years, and long ago researched all the different breeds. Pilgrims are smaller than most and are known as a relatively quiet and gentle variety. Some people use geese as watch dogs, counting on their honking and hissing aggressiveness to scare off intruders. Though my geese are only adolescents I can’t imagine them frightening anyone. They are the milquetoasts of goosedom. I actually gave away my small araucana chicken, Belle, two weeks ago because she would not stop beating up the timid gander, twice her size.
With the mean girl out of the picture, Andy and K have trailed my rooster and remaining hen around the property. However due to a lack of chicken interest, they had never found their way to the pond.
On Friday, shooing them gently before me, I chivvied the geese down to the water. Stepping into the shallows, they were astonished. Heretofore they had been bathing while standing alongside a black rubber bucket.
Wow! This is amazing.
In fact, maybe it’s a little unnerving and I should step out and adjust my clothes.
C’mon, Andy, there’s deep water over here!
Gosh, this whole swimming thing and coordinating your paddling feet so you don’t go in circles is kind of hard. Maybe we should hug the shore and walk a bit.
At last they reached the deep end. Wheeeee! Everyone in the pool!
But all of the jollification was too much for Andy. After only a couple of minutes he’d had enough. He simply climbed out at the steepest section of the bank and began toiling upward like a mountaineer.
He never once glanced back at the pond and at his sister, someday to be his wife. (It never pays to investigate barnyard relationships too closely).
Andy set off resolutely for the barn, a small goose in a large landscape, stumping across the open ground.
I wondered what I would do about K, all alone in the pond. It occurred to me I might end up having to jump in and haul her out. I spent the next hour weedwhacking in the south pasture, watching the lane between the pond and the barn. At last I saw a neat gray figure, waddling home alone in the dusty track.
At evening chores the two geese were sitting together in the barn aisle as usual, discussing their adventure. They have not visited the pond since.