Thursday, April 26, 2012

Goose tale

There is a large wetland area across the four-lane road near my home. Every spring, the Canada geese return from the south and set up housekeeping there. And, every year the widower returns to sit and wait for his mate beside the busy road. Six years ago, she was struck and killed in that exact spot.

The other geese have paired up and moved onto their nests. The fluffy little yellow goslings will appear soon, stopping traffic as they waddle across the road for the grass on the other side. But, the gander waits patiently for his chance to join in the rite of spring.  Every time I see him waiting there, I want to cry.

                                             gander
                                      sleek, handsome
                                   lonely, longing, patient
                                       loyalty incarnate                                 
                                            widower

The Canada goose mates for life, and the lifespan of a goose in the wild is 10 to 24 years. There are an estimated three million Canada geese in the country but they are widely hunted. So, there must be hundreds of thousands of geese that have lost a mate like that. It's a cruel world they live in.


15 comments:

The Odd Essay said...

I know what you write is true, but... damn! it still makes me tear up. Sometimes I wonder about we humans... I have a friend who practically took a date to his wife's funeral... okay that's exaggerating some... but still....

Teresa Evangeline said...

That's so sad. I wonder if it isn't accepted, though, and his return to that spot isn't a way to honor her. My anthropomorphism I suppose, but I wonder, anyway... hope, perhaps. I like your poem to honor him. This is a lovely post.

Janet said...

How sad is is for the gander. But, it must be wonderful being near a wetlands area area where you can observe the natural (and sometimes sad) world.

Joanne said...

Does your old gander make himself useful, like shooing stray kids back off the road, stuff like that.

Jane and Chris said...

Hope springs eternal.
Poor boy.
Jane x

The Owl Wood said...

Serious sniffles here. Whatever they are the motives of animals seem to be so much more attractive than those of my own species.

Are you sure that the goose isn't armed to the teeth and waiting for the vehicle that got his mate? Does he keep checking a little note to remind himself of the registration number of the vehicle? It's just a thought ...

Elaine said...

Oh Ms Sparrow that is such a sad image. Poor, loyal gander.

Linda Myers said...

Touching post. Thanks.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I love The Owl Wood's take on the story (the revenge fantasy).

Thanks for ending with such a heart-warming photo, otherwise I'd still be sniffling.

Ms Sparrow said...

I came back from running some errands a little while ago and he was still sitting there. We still don't have any little ones around here yet. I wonder if the the freezing temps a few weeks ago have set them back to square one.

Linda Starr said...

Oh so sad, lovely poem, perhaps he'll find another mate this year? I wonder if that ever happens.

Crafty Green Poet said...

that poor widower gander.... I know, it's nature, but still so sad...

Those little goslings are adorable!

Meggie said...

Ms Sparrow...I understand loyalty, but don't they look for a new mate?
Possibly, one that has also lost his/her mate? Just wondering....

troutbirder said...

Indeed. A similar experience eventually led me to give up waterfowl hunting....

Kittie Howard said...

So sad. I felt a pang. We're under the path some of the geese take. What a beautiful seasonal clock they are.