Some of you may remember my previous post about the duck pond near our house. Well, today I took Jake there to get us out of the house so Mike could have some quiet and try to sleep. Now, the last time we were all there the birds were a little aggressive, but Mike was there to fend them off and protect me. This time was different. I hadn't even gotten Jake out of his car seat before a whole gaggle of geese began zooming over to us making all sorts of noise. Geese freak me out. They're big and obnoxious and intimidating. In fact, to be honest, most birds freak me out. I think they're beautiful from afar, but I don't like them to get too close to me. It's just something in their eyes. They're crazy. However, as a nature enthusiast I do believe that all of God's creatures were put here for a reason and demand a little respect. Except mosquitoes. I've tried over and over but have not come up with one good thing to say about the mosquito.
Anyhoo, I really want to teach Jake from an early age to love animals and most importantly to not be afraid of them. I remember loving animals when I was little (except spiders of course). Mutual of Omahas Wild Kingdom was my favorite TV show for a long time. That's where I first saw Jacque Cousteau and fell in love with the ocean. I used to collect ladybugs and rolly pollies and make little farms for them to live in until they died two hours later. Imagine my horror when one day my brother showed me what happens to a praying mantis body when you chop off its head. But, I digress. Let's get back to the geese.
So, I get Jake out of the car along with our five slices of bread and one hamburger bun and make a run for the pond. As we're running I quickly realized that I had not brought enough food to satisfy all of the geese and ducks following behind us. Not to mention the turtles. There was no way those turtles were going to get any food from us today. We began feeding the sweet little ducks who by the way are severely over weight at this pond. But, that's not for me to judge. I'm sure it's all baby weight they haven't been able to get rid of yet. The ducks were well mannered and very appreciative of the breadcrumbs.
Then along came the geese. We hadn't outwitted them by running the other direction. They strutted right up to us honking the whole time. I could not tear off breadcrumbs fast enough for these guys. I began to feel really uneasy when I saw the way they were looking at Jake's toes. These guys scared me. So, I tried to shoo them away. Apparently, the words shoo, scat, GO AWAY, LEAVE ME ALONE! get lost in goose translation. Also, kicking your feet at them, which everyone knows is the universal sign for LEAVE ME ALONE! has no effect. Meanwhile, Jake is just staring at the geese and then looking at me like who is this crazy lady and what has she done with my mama? So, in a last ditch effort to get them away I took out the rest of the bread and was going to just throw it to them and run away. But, just then I noticed that half of the bread was moldy. Now, I had a moral dilemma. Do I just give the hated geese the moldy bread to get them off my back (and Jake's toes?) Or do I tear off the moldy parts and make my way over to the trashcan to dispose of them risking life and my son's limbs? Well, I looked at Jake and decided to be a good example. I ripped off the moldy parts, threw the good parts to the goose mafia, and in a Michael Jordanesque move managed to toss the moldy bread into the trashcan. And the angels sang.
I don't think we'll be going back to the duck pond anytime soon. I'm certain that Alfred Hitchcock must have been feeding geese when he came up with the idea for his movie The Birds. I just hope that someday Jake remembers the mama doing the right thing by the geese and not the crazy mama screaming and thrashing about and generally creating a scene in the park.