the geese

When we moved to Stoughton this August, the river by our house was busy with a big gaggle of geese. I loved to watch them swim and rest on the riverbanks. There was one goose amongst these wild Canada geese that wasn’t like the others. It was a barn goose, plump and grey with a bright orange bill, always close to her wild mate. As the other geese began to fly north, I wondered what would happen to this goose. Geese mate for life. Could she fly? Would she fly? Would her partner leave her behind? Their numbers dwindled until it was just the two of them sitting by the icy water. And then the temperatures dropped and I did not see them.

Today, Reed and I went walking by the river, and we saw the barn goose and her mate swimming with the ducks. It warmed my heart to see them, still alive, still together. It made me feel good about the world to know that a Canada goose would rather spend a cold Wisconsin winter with his mate than a warm, sunny one without her.

What a wonderful planet this can be.

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