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November 09, 2002
sad single goose

It was behind the Hempstead House, on the grassy terrasse overlooking trees and the Long Island sound. Canadian geese (Branta Canadensis) come down to the east coast to spend their winters, mostly in New Jersey. They usually travel in large groups and bring bird fertilizer and s destruction of the grassy vegetation. There was only one of them sitting in the grass. It was a bit of a fairy tale picture. A bit of a fairy tale picture for my naïve eyes at least. The goose reflecting on her life. Slowing down to smell the roses. Was she just thinking ahead? Was she left behind by her friends? “You fly ahead, I like the architecture of this place.” An older photographer and his much younger companion walked by to take some pictures of details of the building. The woman walked up to the goose, as if to talk. The goose did not move at all. She walked even closer, 10 feet, 6 feet, 5. The goose just looked at her, yet did not even move. The head was very interested, but the body rested as if it had been tied down to the grass. The woman tried to get even closer, for some insane reason of interspecies bonding maybe, and the bird spread the wings to fly away. It tried to fly, but the heavy body merely rose off the ground. It was a really sad picture. Birds like this one are meant to fly. They look so majestic when in the air, in formation, crossing incredible distances. This one really struggled to move a sad 6 feet across the grass. There was obviously a problem.
I remember once finding a young mute swan (Cygnus Olor) trapped in fishing wire not far from my parents’ house, on the Main river in Germany. The bird was angry that I had discovered it hidden in the vegetation by the shore. It would not let me near it. The veterinarian later called me that the bird had to be put down, it had been suffering for days, it seemed. Nobody either found it before me or bothered to call anybody for help.
I am not sure how the story of the goose ended today. I really thought that the woman called somebody on her cellphone. It must have been a friend? Or did she leave a message for herself? The museum Staff did not know of the bird when we reported it...
The photographer tried to get his special shot with his new camera. The bird was even more scared, it flew a bit farther away. I thought that maybe its feet were broken, or somehow paralyzed. I watched the animal for a little while and think now that it was really just exhausted and overheated? She was breathing heavily with her beak open. The whole situation did not look too great. I could not even stay to make sure the veterinarian arrived.
I hope all worked out in some good way. Not a good story. But maybe that’s how it goes.
There was a large group of geese later at the Nassau County Museum a few miles from Sandy Point. They looked just like the single one in the grass, but they had strong feet and were constantly chatting and making sure everyone was in the right place at the right time.
How do geese and ladybugs get along?


I do not understand the concept of putting animals down... no one would think to put humans down, if we were injured. Perhaps...nature can heal it, perhaps nature will kill it, perhaps it will suffer, but there is always a chance... I wish we had more faith in the ability to heal. It will be all right, the ladybugs will keep it company.

mystery link

Posted by: on November 10, 2002 12:54 AM

Dear Mystery Link, I also do not understand the concept of putting down animals. I think the goose is fine and is going to join her friends soon.
I am afraid that humans are being “put down” around the world every day. And I do not understand this concept either.
I also think that if geese had a lobby, there would have been an ambulance and television crews hours before I noticed the poor animal.
I hope for the best. I really hope she is fine and in a good place right now.

Posted by: Witold on November 10, 2002 02:07 AM

oh, that plant story is beautiful... i hadn't read it closely before... growinginto one another :)

and the majesty of birds flying... : )

Posted by: k on June 10, 2003 01:21 AM
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