Loving a Goose + Loved by a Goose
A True Story
When my goose Sam lost the last of her three sisters, I worried. Would I have to buy some decoy geese to put in her pen? Would she die of loneliness or just stop eating?
Within a few days, I had the answers to my questions.
She made an elaborate nest in her nighttime kiddie pool where she slept safe from predators. She didn't lay eggs in the nest-she only wanted some kind of goose-comfort, aside from all the human attention she got from me. Every morning when it was time for her to go outside, she wanted to stay in
her nest. I let her stay, but I kept talking to her. After a little while she stood up and was ready to go outside.
I watched carefully because once I had a goose that mourned her mate by laying next to the fence all day. Lots of love and care brought that goose out of her depression, but I was hoping Sam would only need her indoor nest and be happy to be out in the lush grass with lots of corn to eat. I needn't have worried-she was happy outside and bathed and ate heartily.
Sam and I had never had a one on one friendship-there had always been her sisters, who had died one by one, until it was just her and Titus for quite a few years.
Titus (female with a male's name) was the Alpha goose and Sam was the lowest on the totem pole out of the four. Until Titus died, Sam was very content to be her own goose and not be held and petted. She wanted her corn and a place to bathe and the indoor safety-that was her world.
Until Titus died. Then I became her world. She became a huge part of mine. I think I always substituted the geese for my son who had his own life far away from the nest we made for him. I missed my son so much.
So I had a goose and I loved her. She needed my love; we became best friends.
The Pandemic started only a few months after Titus's death. My world was suddenly small. It was as big as our yard and home. My husband and my goose were my only social contacts. Church was over the Internet. Everything changed.
So I loved my goose even more. One goose, one human.
We bonded. Did she somehow sense an odd thing going on in the world?
Whatever it was, it was something God did for me. I have had geese for decades. Ducks, doves, two chickens. Always birds. I could qualify as a goose whisperer. I know them well.
Our days of friendship and love and trust were days I see as always being sunny, rainbows everyday, warm breezes and my eyes seeing beautiful gray feathers and a black knobby beak.
Sam replaced the broken world, the loneliness of masks, the fear of being close to humans because of an unseen virus. I didn't have to think about that stuff with a warm goose body on my lap.
And then one day she died. June 20. 2023. The chair we sat in is in my studio. It comforts me, just like her nest comforted Sam.
I can't help but think of a loving God who invented love to begin with. What a glorious 'thing' love is.
I miss Sam. I mourn and grieve over her. I still have to figure out how to be Sam-less. It hurts. But there's something that just won't let me give in to despair. It's knowing that God is real, that this stuff matters to Him because I matter to Him.
Thank You God, for the beautiful gift of loving a goose.