Mother Goose is back

Hi everyone,

Sunday evening daughter Robin, son-in-law Tim and grandson Kris came over. I grilled burgers on the grill, which were nowhere near as good as the ones Tim does, but they were tolerable.

While I was in the yard I glanced down the steps to the landing by the water and noticed a rather pronounced accumulation of goose poop. I walked down the steps and discovered that we have a nesting goose on the rocks beside the landing. I don’t know who was more startled, Mother Goose or me, but she wasted no time letting me know how she felt.

“Geez!” she hissed. “You scared the crap out of me!”
“I can see that,” I said. “All over my landing. But I’m sorry I frightened you.”
“Then run along, sonny,” she honked. “Can’t a girl have a little privacy around here?:
“Of course,” I said. “I can see you are in a motherly way.”
“Motherly way?” she snapped. “I’m way past that, you dolt. I’m on my eggs!”
“Well I can’t exactly see under you,” I responded, my pride wounded by her sarcasm.
“You think I’d be sitting here on these rocks if I didn’t have eggs?”
“I suppose not,” I admitted. “But I have to tell you that I’m afraid you’ve picked a poor spot for your nest.”
She began to weave her long neck like a cobra. “Poor place?” she hissed. “What, may I ask, does a dummy like you know about it?”
Now I was getting peeved. Rocks or no rocks, she was on my property and I thought I deserved a little respect. “Because,” I said with a haughty air. “Some poor cluck tried it there on the very same spot two years ago. We had a heavy rain, the lake rose three inches, and the eggs were drowned. That’s what I know!”
She lowered her head and looked out over the water for a minute before responding. “I remember that,” she said with a sigh.
“You remember that but still you’re back?” I was astonished. “Why?”
“Why?” she sighed. “Because the idiot I’m mated to likes me here where he can keep an eye on me while he’s across the lake hanging with the swans, pretending he’s a big gander on a stick.”
Well that took me back a bit. “I can see you’re busy, Mother,” I said. “Sorry to bother you.”
“My problem,” she said, a bit more gently. “Just don’t try to be part of it. Go away. Leave me alone.”
As I walked back up the steps I was sure I remembered her. She was pretty cranky the last time too. Come to think of it, this is the third year she has nested down there. Last year she wound up with two goslings for her trouble. I hope she has even better luck this year. That’s what we need around here: more goose grunt on my steps.

“My butt’s already sore.” Mother Goose


Hi everyone,

Mother Goose is on the nest and Father stays close by in the water. Now we wait. We already have five other couples paddling around the lake showing off their broods and our gal is just getting started. Maybe as she sits there day after day for the next four weeks, watching all those youngsters growing bigger and stronger, she’ll wish she hadn’t put this off for so long. Some geese just cannot make up their minds.

You’d think that Father Goose himself laid those eggs and was sitting on that thin nest with nothing but a few twigs and his wife’s breast feathers between him and that rocky ledge. His nerves are already on edge. While I was watching yesterday from a few feet away a couple and their four goslings were out for a swim at the far end of the lake. The gander raised his head, shook it in the air, and released a loud series of gobbles aimed in our general direction. Whereupon Father Goose yelled back with agitated gusto, looking for all the world as if he were sick and tired of that braggart carrying on about his brilliant little fuzz-ball children.

He then extended his neck an inch above the water, opened his beak, and rushed muttering to his mate as though he had just taken care of that bore once and for all and she could rest easy with him on the job. Something tells me that we’ll have to send Father to anger management or slip him some Xanax before he gets these four eggs hatched.

The wait begins

BULLETIN: Yesterday I examined the abandoned nest and found one egg still in it. No bits of shells to indicate that the second gosling hatched so maybe a predator got it. Mama G had moved her nest back a few inches from the waters edge. Maybe she feard that a turtle would reach up out of the water and snatch her eggs. All we can do is wait and hope that one of these evenings we’ll see the parents swimming on Goose Lake with their one offspring paddling along between them.

Hi everyone,

Empty Nest
David L. Harrison

Unmade bed at water’s edge
abandoned in the press of duty,
disarray of feathers ruffling
among the sticks and mud.

When coaxed in dark of night
to step off the ledge and swim,
what fate befell the goslings?

Safely tucked along the shore
in some convenient thicket?

Turtles maintain their patrol.
Hope for success begins.

More from Mother Goose


Hi everyone,

This morning, Mama G was in a better mood. She even stood up to greet me.

“Good morning!” I called with more cheerfulness than I felt. “And how are our eggs today?”

She looked at me for a long moment before replying. “Our eggs are just peachy, dear,” she said.

“You sound better,” I said, taking my seat four steps up.

“Sorry about the hissy fit,” she said. “Truth is I had just discovered my first gray feather.”

I decided that silence was the wisest response.

“After sitting out in the rain I caught a big honking cold, and to top it off my darling mate got to talking to that beaver across the lake. Again. Forgot the time. He says. So I was sniffing and sneezing and the eggs hurt and I had a migrate headache . . .”

“You mean migraine?”

“Dear, a goose doesn’t migraine. A goose migrates. Anyway, I was tired and cranky and figured what was good for the goose should be good for the gander, as we geese like to say.”

“Mama G,” I said. “I Googled about this. The male Canadian goose doesn’t sit on the nest. It’s your job. He’s supposed to hang around and be ready to protect you.”

“Aha!” she snorted. “Protect me from what? Beavers?”

“Okay, look at the bright side. You’ve been out here for five days already. You only have another twenty, twenty-five tops!”

“I can do the math,” she said. “I didn’t exactly flunk flight school.”

“Uh . . .”

“But I’m better now. I’ve been making up stories and telling them to my eggs. My goslings will pop out loving my stories!”

“Fantastic!” I said. “Do you have a name for your stories?”

“Really?” she said. “Really?”

“Not thinking,” I mumbled.

“Don’t you have work you need to be doing?” she suggested.

All in all I thought it went well.