Feathers in my
by Judi Veoukas
There are a
few things you never forget: the day you are
married, the day each of your children is born,
the day a goose lands on your head. We observe
anniversaries and birthdays. A goose landing atop
your head should be remembered too. And, so it
A few years
back I worked in a building next to a lake,
although the word work is debatable.
Mostly, I stared out the window. One thing I
stared at was a lavish garden, directly in front
of the entrance to the one-company structure. The
garden was placed there for decorative purposes.
It was not placed there to be a maternity ward
for goslings. However, unaware of company policy,
Mother Goose set up her nest.
birth three times, I knew better than to disturb
anything with child, so Id walk by each day,
smiling sympathetically at Mother Goose. Lurking
just beyond the nest, though, was Father Goose.
He and I would exchange brief, but distrustful
inkling something was awry came as I walked to
the entrance one Friday morning alongside the
company owners wife. Father Goose, possibly
weary of having no more job status than Nest
Patrol, came swiftly and defiantly toward Mrs.
Company Owner, but backed off, barely pecking the
surface of her posh coat. Something in that
minuscule goose brain detected that she had clout,
and attacking her was not in his best interest.
Monday I smugly walked by Nest and Nest Patrol,
this time unaccompanied by a landowner, but sure
that Father Goose remembered I had friends in
high places. Unfortunately, some irrational
paternal instinct kicked in, and Father Goose
raged out of control. He spread his gigantic
wings and charged directly at my hair.
Having a goose
flapping on my head was not an experience I want
to ever re-live; in fact, I wasnt sure I
was going to live through this one. Luckily,
Father Goose deemed a hair scare good enough and
rescinded, leaving me dazed but unharmed. Still,
as I teetered into the office shaking
uncontrollably, my coworkers realized this was
more than my usual Monday-morning angst.
When I calmed
down enough to explain my state, my boss did what
anyone would do when someone is attacked by fowl:
she called the police. Within an hour, the local
animal warden took my statement. Her only
suggestion, since goose-with-child is a protected
species, was to put snow fencing around the
nesting area to keep the geese in.
they must have a little opening so they can get
in and out at will, she added, with
there must be a reason for this; nevertheless, I
envisioned Father and Mother Goose musing to one
another, Gee, were going to just stay
put even though theres an opening for us to
get out, followed by, and we can
was a snow fence put there, with or without an
opening. My solution was to wear a hard-hat to
and from my car, which I did while listening to
honk, honk emanate from guys in the
building who had minimal sympathy for a woman
attacked by a goose.
I did have a
talk with Father Goose, through the window, of
course. I mouthed that if he attacked again, I
would dress him in a holiday goose outfit. Still,
I donned my hard-hat and tried to make myself
invisible each time I walked by the nest. It
worked. He never again attacked. Apparently, we
had established, for lack of a better term, a
permanent and binding goose truce.