I took a long-overdue long walk with Eric today. It was a glorious spring day and the trees are bursting into bright green leafiness. There was a breeze which cooled Eric’s toes, the toes he had refused to allow be covered with anything mundane like socks. Or shoes, for that matter.
So I pushed Eric in his newish red stroller that did a little four-wheeling last week on some muddy wooded trails, but today we decided to go see the horses.
We live, like I have said before, in a new townhouse development that must have appeared overnight amid the cornfields of this mainly rural area. All around us are winding country lanes, a few farms, and large house placed in amongst the trees and copious undergrowth of eastern Pennsylvania. So I can walk out my door and be on a quiet country road in just a few minutes, the kind of road where cars come few and far between. I like it that way, and it’s nice for cycling as well, that is if it weren’t for all those damned hills.
The road goes exactly through the middle of an old farm populated by an old farmer and some very skinny and spavined horses, their hip bones jutting out like hard wings. I hate seeing the horses, usually covered with mud or just standing in their field. They must be quite ancient, these horses, because I refuse to acknowledge the other possibility, that they’re being abused.
Still, it was a pretty day, and as Eric and I descended the steep hill on the narrow lane that bisects the farm, a flock of Canada geese crossed the road in front of us. I stopped the stroller to watch them, and to give them space without disturbing them, because along with several adults there were eleven fuzzy babies toddling along in line.
I wondered — eleven? That’s a lot of babies for a, what is it, a litter maybe? Of geese? No, that can’t be right. Maybe these geese raise their children as a village?
Who knows, but I watched them. I’ve always loved Canada geese, which are so much prettier and with so much more character (to me) than domestic geese. Plus there’s the whole migration thing, which always fascinated me. Not that these geese likely migrate anymore, as it looks like they have a pretty good deal right where they are.
So there they went, crossing the little road, to the bank on the opposite side. Up they went, the adult geese, one by one. Then came the babies. Ehrm. That’s steep, that bank. But they made it, there they go! No, some didn’t. They can’t get up the steep bank, and there they go, tumbling down again. Where are the parents? A couple more of the babies made it up and over, but at least two looked like they gave up.
Eric and I went on. I decided that I’d look for them and help them if they were still there on the way back.
AsI walked I began to think about my good deed, helping those poor little baby geese. Once I was inadvertantly semi-responsible for a baby duck falling into a storm drain, and maybe I owe something to the poultry community. I began to imagine what it would feel like to lift a little goose up and place him gently on the bank, watching him happily scamper away to his parents, aunts, and uncles. He’d feel warm, and soft, and I’d hold him so gently so as not to scare him. I was a little concerned about touching a wild animal — would his parents reject him afterward? I wouldn’t want to cause that.
I wrestled with this for about 45 minutes while we walked, and after we turned around for home I began to walk faster, thinking about those poor little geese stuck there on the bank, which, was it in the sun? Are my baby geese baking in the hot sun?? I’d better hurry! C’mon, Eric, let’s go! LET’S GO SAVE SOME BABY GEESE!
O CANADA! WE STAND ON GUARD FOR THEE!
C’mon, Eric, let’s run and get our geeeeeeese!
Oh. They’re not there anymore.
I guess they didn’t need me after all.
[tags] Canada geese, farms, bucolic Pennsylvania living, baby geese, ungrateful[/tags]