Here’s to those
Who lost but tried,
Who felt the lows,
The wounded pride.
Here’s to those
Who tried but lost,
Who took the blows,
Paid the cost.
It’s safe inside.
Here’s to those
Who at least tried.
(c) David L. Harrison
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.
It’s time for love around Goose Lake, or dating at least. Lately I’ve observed couples of ducks and geese strolling around yards, slyly checking out cozy nesting spots in window boxes and behind hedges. Down on the water, male Canadians are fussing over territory.
Early blooming trees such as plum and Bradford pear are showing off their finery in spite of temperatures that have vacillated from low twenties to high seventies over the past few weeks. Weeds are among us of course. And yesterday I finally spotted the first dandelions.
A handful of robins that overwintered here rather than spend the energy migrating are hopping around with more positive attitudes these days. Surely the worms will soon shake off their winter torpor and come out to give a hungry bird a fighting chance. Any day now I look for the return of the migrating robins from somewhere south, probably Florida, full of berries and looking for love.
By the way. I DID finish the poem yesterday afternoon. Or at least I think I did. I’ll come back to it today and will probably pick at it some but, Jane, I’m about ready to abandon it.
Padding through the house this morning, I paused to appreciate the view of Goose Lake in the early light. It’s a scene I’ve observed countless times. I’m familiar with everything on the patio, the lawn beyond, the leafless trees of winter . . .
But this morning something was different. Do you see it? Out there beneath the hackberry tree? Let me blow it up for you. Please excuse the quality. Satchel Paige said, “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” I would add, if you’re a bird, “Don’t look down. Something might be waiting for you.”
Have a good day everyone.