Near my work, there is a pond, and around that pond, there is a path. On those rare occasions when I can sneak away for a moment, I will sometimes go there: to walk, reflect, and commune. With “nature.”
It is a picturesque setting, in its corporate park way, the “natural” beauty enhanced by several larger-than-life wood carvings that look like so many cast-offs from one of those lumberjack chainsaw-carving competitions.
It’s a nice break, though, and I often get lost in my thoughts. Sometimes my imaginings get away from me.
Due, I suspect, to the abnormally mild winter in this part of the country, I was joined in my meanderings today by a flock of wild Canadian geese like the dapper-looking fellow featured here. For the most part, they were doing their thing, and I was doing mine.
That is, until I came to a small bridge where some of them were lounging. I didn’t think much of it as I started across, but noticed at about the halfway-point that they seemed to be getting a little jittery. You see, just as I was heading one way across the bridge, a be-sneakered fellow lunchtime stroller was coming the other. The bridge is narrow enough and its sides tall enough that the geese felt cornered and began to squawk and hiss menacingly. It was fight or flight time, and it seemed like things were about to get ugly.
Just as I was trying to decide whether it would be better to leap off the bridge or confront my avian adversaries hand-to-beak, the other walker, previously distracted by her cell phone, realized her plight, and turned and fled screaming in the opposite direction. Upon hearing her screeching, the geese took flight, thankfully towards her, mercifully without first pecking anyone’s eyes out (as geese are wont to do, the murderous creatures; they’d just as soon eat as look at us; believe me, I know).
Okay, so I wasn’t technically attacked. This time (I have been set upon by geese before, though. Not over lunch, but after piano practice (this was several years ago). My piano teacher lived on a sort of mini-farm, and my mom was running late. I ventured out back, and for some reason felt compelled to get in the pen with several of those bright-white, sweet-looking domestic-variety fowl you will see on farms and other such places. They look very sweet and cuddly, but don’t be fooled. When they get hold of bare skin in those little orange beaks of theirs, it hurts like a mother. I have never eaten goose before, but I remember thinking it sounded pretty good on this day).
Anyway, I almost wish the geese would have pulled something today. I was in a fighting mood. But you have to wonder what kind of day you are having when the prospect of fighting feral geese sounds like an improvement. Maybe I need to do something about that.