Monday, May 16, 2011

Goosey Goosey Gander

Mother Goose (No, not that Mother Goose! This is a different Mother Goose!) and her four little goslings were having a lovely time paddling around the pond at our local park. They were so happy to be reunited, as Mother Goose and one of the goslings had just returned from the other side of the dam. The three goslings who had been left behind had been crying piteously for mama, but she soon had all of her babies safely within reach and all calmed down.
Becky has been accumulating bread crusts in a bag in the freezer all winter just for the purpose of feeding the ducks and geese at the park this spring. Mother Goose and her little ones were happy to be the recipients of such bounty and eagerly came closer to shore (but not too close) to scoop up the tidbits Becky tossed into the water.
Such generosity did not go unnoticed by a neighboring family of geese. The New family on the scene was made up of a mother and a father plus six babies. (Which made us wonder where the father of the First family was... or maybe that was actually Father Goose rather than Mother Goose in the First family? Gender differences in Canadian Geese are rather subtle. At least to me! I doubt they are to the geese. I understand they mate for life and the father helps take care of the young--which is as it ought to be, don't you think?)
The New family decided that the First family had had enough of the bread crumbs, so they tried to chase them away. One of the New parents actually dunked one of the poor babies from the First family all the way under the water. When the baby didn't pop right back up we were a little concerned. A few seconds later, though, the little feller popped out of the water way across the pond. Mother Goose hurriedly paddled off to his rescue, leaving her other three babies behind to paddle around with their cousins.
Now there were nine apparently identical goslings splashing around in a group overseen by the New mother and father. How they could tell which children were theirs and which belonged to the First Mother Goose was more than I could figure out, so I found it amazing to watch one of the New parents herding two of the babies away from the group and over towards Mother Goose and the chastised little one. But the New family still had an extra one, by my count. Would they notice? Sure enough, they did. Pretty soon they guided the last little stray back to Mother.

We were fascinated.


Country Girl said...

Aww, that sounds so fun! We just saw a mamma and daddy goose with their goslings a couple days ago. They were swimming in a little pond out in a pasture that we have our bull in. And thank you for the certificate! I received it in the mail today!

pse said...

Thanks to Becky for saving the bread crumbs to feed the geese. That was a great idea.