Grumpy geese and cantankerous old men
I went for a walk, about a week ago, it was a cloudy day, some fog, quiet, the way I like it. One of my favorite places here is a small pond that was used for irrigation many years ago when we had a big farm here. Time overlaps when I walk around this pond, for I remember past events, some going back 43 years, most of them pleasant. I don’t dwell on them; they are just there, like background music
The night before I took my walk, I was awakened at midnight by a very unpleasant sound. It sounded like a screech…or something like that. At first, I thought it was a machine of some sort, but as I continued to listen, I came to the realization that it was a bird, what kind I had no idea.
So as I was approaching the pond from behind the retreat house I again heard this screeching….over and over again. It was an angry sound, just like the night before. The pond was covered with low lying fog, so at first, I had some trouble seeing the denizen making the rumpus. Then over on the far side, I saw three Geese, one making all the noise and two others swimming away from the squawker. The two birds would go away from the racket and then turn back. For a while, the sound would subside, but sad to say it would start up again. This happened two or three times during the time I was there… this going away and coming back again. Finally, they just kept going until they got to the shore and walked away.
Meanwhile, the squawker continued ‘screeching’ up a storm. In fact, when they got out of the water the noise got louder. It looked like they were having some sort of family squabble, which had been going on for a long time. Then the bird stopped his ‘complaining’ and started swimming towards the shore as well. He, no longer making very irritating noises driving them further away. I slowly walked back and saw the two geese eating, then the third arrived, being very quiet and they allowed it to come closer, though they ignored it completely.
As I approached I saw the two who first left the lake had a stripe down their necks, a low key color, the other, the loudmouth, had a more colorful stripe….so I deduced the male. They were different from the other large number of geese we have here. He still seemed grumpy but they just ignored him. He did not start squawking again. I have not heard it since, so perhaps they came to some kind of agreement. I have a feeling they were just passing through and happy about that….that screech was very unpleasant.
Watching this it reminded me of what a friend of mine told me about men. As we age we can get grumpy, outspoken and very touchy. I noticed this in myself and am trying to curtail it when I find it rising. Or I could be like the ‘squawker’ and it did not seem to do much for him.
Grumpy old men aren’t much fun,
they squawk and mumble, and complain,
and others leave them alone with it,
alone on a fog covered lake--Br.MD