The goose was walking around the pasture as if it belonged there. The sheep and donkeys seem to accept her. Red and Fate acted as if she wasn’t there.
The first time I saw her I thought of how you never see a goose alone this time of year. I thought of how Canada Geese mate for life.
I remembered the pair of geese and the babies that we’d see marching around the pasture last spring.
How sad I thought, her mate must have died. Now she’s come back to the same place to make a nest and raise her chicks, but her mate isn’t here. I watched feeling sadder and sadder as she seemed to be searching the pasture for her mate.
The next day the goose was in the small pond in the back pasture.
Am I that much of a romantic I wondered, or was I being a realist?
Why did I immediately embrace the story that was the saddest, the most dramatic. The poor goose pining away for her lost lover.
I watched the goose circle the pond. I had no idea if is was a male or female. I actually know little about Canada Geese other than what I’ve witnessed and that someone once told me they mate for life. For all I know that may not even be true.
So if I’m going to make up a story about this goose, why not make up a happy story.
Maybe this is a male goose and it’s mate is sitting on her eggs, her nest hidden somewhere in the marsh, and he’s patrolling the area, protecting them.
This morning, when I went out to feed the animals, the goose was sitting under the apple tree.
Yesterday’s story no longer made sense. Why would the goose be so far away from the wetlands if he was protecting the nest.
So, I made up another story.
What if the goose’s mate had died and she was alone. Maybe she came back to the place they had raised their chicks, because that’s what geese do. And maybe she missed her mate, but had found that she didn’t mind being alone. She actually enjoyed it. She didn’t really want to have more chicks and she liked to be able to contemplate nature this time of year. She liked swimming around the pond and getting to know, at a distance, the sheep and donkeys. At the end of summer she joined the flock, once again, and flew south for the winter.
I thought about reading up on Canada Geese and trying to learn the truth about them. But I don’t want to do that, not yet. I kind of like the story I’ve come up with. For now, it makes me feel good when I think of the lone goose.
And if that changes, I can always come up with another story.
Either way, it doesn’t matter to the goose what story I choose to tell myself. The goose isn’t wandering the moors, under the full moon, longing for her lover. Or, happy to finally have some time to herself. Those stories say more about me than they do the goose.
I don’t know what the goose is or isn’t feeling. I do believe the goose is being a goose. Following his or her instincts and doing what geese do.
5 thoughts on “The Lone Goose”
Maria………I do the same! Create stories about lone geese, without their mates! I have two returning geese on my pond, and am always happy to see them together, so I always wonder about the lone ones I see elsewhere. So thanks for your thoughts……….and our imaginations, that can tell another story……………..
Happy Spring! Finally!
Makes me wonder Donna, how many people do that too! Happy (finally) Spring to you too.
Maria (and Donna) – I make up stories, too! [Well, not about geese, necessarily – but often when something happens that triggers a negative emotional response….]. I like to then play with “what-if” kind of stories……
For example, one time I was all alone in the house, taking a shower, when I heard the bathroom door slam. To be honest, thoughts of a certain Hitchcock movie initially got my stress hormones flowing way too freely throughout my body. [I rather quickly realized that it was probably only the wind that had blown the door closed—whew! But then, I caught myself and played my “what-if” game…….That is, what if—instead of a possibly deranged intruder waiting on the other side of the bathroom door, it was my “dream lover” wanting to surprise me. That felt SOOO much better, for sure!
Maria – I really just mostly wanted to say how much I really appreciate your story-creating and story-telling. This was such a beautiful post!
And, thanks for putting up with my bit of silliness 😉
But Mary, this is just what I learned from the geese. That the story doesn’t have to always be a sad or bad one. If I’m going to make up a story it can be good. I love what you did in the shower. You first story is definitely where I would have naturally gone, but you changed it and it worked in that you no longer had to be afraid, you could actually feel good instead, even though it was just the wind. This morning I made up a story for a friend who is sick. After going to a dark place I thought up a wonderful alternative. The truth may eventually collide with our stories, but they can bring some hope and joy for a little while anyway.
Dear Maria, I love the creative, positive way your imagination flows. I love how you have transformed your own life’s story into a creative, positive one!! Annie