Goose Bars


By last night at chores I had the goose bars cut and screwed in under all the stall doors in the barn. This is satisfying. This task has been on my list for a year.

Of course it’s a case of barring the gate after the horse has bolted after the goose has been trampled, but still I am pleased. I have no faith that my gander Andy has learned anything from his near-death experience — in fact, I assume that he will feel duty-bound to seek revenge in the exact same manner. The goose bars should stymie this suicidal intention.

I also like thinking about goose bars because the phrase reminds me of the Goose Bar Ranch, the fictional setting for Mary O’Hara’s Flicka trilogy (My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead, and Green Grass of Wyoming). I first read these horse stories as a child and I’ve reread them every few years since then. By now they are old friends.

I don’t think O’Hara ever explained the “Goose Bar” name in her novels, but since she and her husband in real life also raised horses and Guernsey cows, I’ve decided she must have known her share of foolish ganders.


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