Unhappy, unhappy, very, very unhappy

Not me – for once I’m very cheerful, perhaps because I am no longer working at the shop, but self employed again. Suits me sooooo much better.

No, it’s the geese. We have hadsad-geesevery little snow, but it has been very cold, and the shallow pond the geese enjoy so much has frozen over. I have done what human kind can do – broken up the ice at the out flow, where motion keeps the water flowing, thus helping the few wild birds and the geese, but it is not the same. They are not happy. They patrol the edges of the pond, looking down gloomily. They look up and honk. Loudly.

‘Do something! This is so wrong!’

But they are settling here, just like me. The other night, I lost them. I went out to shut them up in their little loose box and they were nowhere to be seen. My heart raced. Foxy? It would have been very sad, because half an hour before I’d tried to herd them in with no success – to think a cup of tea too many had cost me my geese. But no, I finally went to check their loose box home, and there they were, feet tucked up in the warm down, feathers rustling, but heads still raised, alert. They had gone to the strange new place that was now become home.

The other week I convinced a sympathetic stranger that I was totally nuts by telling him that the geese were the genii loci and they would reveal the place to me. I think they have.


14 responses to “Unhappy, unhappy, very, very unhappy

  1. what a great moment that must have been, finding them settled in.

  2. It is much better that you eat them than the fox

  3. rosemaryhannah

    That would be eating the goose who rears the golden babies, dear!

  4. Wait. are you planning on Christmas dinners after all?

  5. rosemaryhannah

    I fear I am – not them, but their children. Only after a glorious and fufilled summer.

    Maro and Horatia will live long faithful and fufilled lives whatever their fertility and success rate – they have been named and known. Their goslings will not be named, and I will keep an emotional distance. One at a time, each will vanish … far from the parents there will be a swift end with as little fear as can be managed.

    And my bad son is winding up his veggie partner as well. Kenneth will be every bit as horrified as you.

  6. at least you don’t name them.

    A sometime ‘friend’ used to delight in calling her dinner by name. I distinctly remember having to eat Myrtle Lasagne right before moving from ‘rarely eat beef’ to ‘never eat beef’. In fact, there may well be a causal relationship there.

  7. rosemaryhannah

    I rarely eat meat – and I am very fussy about how it has lived. One reason I keep livestock is to ensure that they have had a good fufilled life before they die. I never ever eat commercial chicken, or pork form outside the UK because here the worst horrors are banned (I would of course be happy to any other pork if I happened to know it had had a good life) . Having reared young bullocks for the table made me lose a little sympathy for them. I remember one who made a pretty good attempt to trample Grace, who did (IIRC) take a good deal of pleasure in eating said animal afterwards. The bullocks I reared had all been destined to be knocked on the head as ‘not wanted’ offspring of dairy cows. They had a good life, with many diversions (including trampling Grace) before a swift death. Pigs are a great deal nicer than cows, in my experience. I kept a rare breed and bred pure – if there had been a crisis in pig land, the Middle White might have been re populated from my sty.

    But there is a deal of double think. I adored Rampage, whom I had hand reared. She lived a long full life, and died of natural causes in her old age. She came when called, and would let me lie with my head on her side. Her babies stayed with her until they were a respectable age, and weaning caused neither side any undue stress, for both their sakes.

    But I eat her piglets once they were young adults.

  8. Her offspring tasted very good. I miss quality pork. It is, in general, an underrated meat in this country.

  9. rosemaryhannah

    That is the link of course. No exercise, terrible diet, weaned too soon, and then fed poor quality food, and slaughtered too young, having grown too fast = poor quality life and poor quality meat. Better eat less and better.

  10. I am glad the geese are keeping you on your toes – sounds highly sensible to get an early night in this weather!

  11. James has friends in New Zealand who take a pragmatic approach to the naming of animals. In Dunedin (university town in the midst of farming community), it was quite common for students to keep lambs called ‘Christmas’ and other charming sobriquets. But I’m somewhat hypocritical in these matters. The other day, I flinched when we bought a live lobster at the fishmongers and insisted that the dispatch be carried out then and there and not after we got home.

  12. I agree with all of what you say, of course.

    I just can’t do it.

    Even when I miss bacon (an irreplaceable mix of salt and smoke) I still can’t do it.

    Now, back to the start of this post: are the geese gleeful again?

  13. rosemaryhannah

    They are, yesterday for the first time the pond was thawed enough to allow a small bath at one end. they spent a long long time washing, and preening, and swimming in a small circle, rejoicing.

    There is still ice in the centre, and it is still hard to drive over the ice at the gate.

  14. I have been terribly neglectful in my praise of these gorgeous geese. I do hope photos will grace the blog often (the header is lovely)! They deserve an adoring public! I’m glad to hear they managed at least a small bath, and that they rejoiced in it.

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