That’s him in the middle. The one with the mischievous eyes.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about geese. One day I’d like to have some again. Before our latest intrepid house purchase we had rented a small cottage on a farm. It was perched on the side of a large lake, with its own resident population of ducks and geese. At first, they kept to their business and we kept to ours. The geese peered inside the removal van, inspected the quality of our chattels and then waddled off sniffily with beaks held high.
The problem really started when I gave them some corn. They knew I was holding some back you see. They even knew where it was kept. All I had to do was open the large storage cupboard by the front window and a cacophony of squawking arose from outside.
The ducks took a direct approach. They marched straight into the kitchen, brazen as you like, and left a whoopsie on the floor.
The geese favoured a longer game. They would eyeball me for hours as I worked at my desk. Then maintain a state of lockdown even as they snoozed, ranged in a tight semi-circle outside the closed kitchen door. Little piles of poop accumulated steadily at each rear end.
Their endurance was impressive. But then so was mine.
Churchill was the undisputed boss. Mostly because he stood a head and a neck above pretty much everyone else. Stronger tactics were called for but he’d trained his team well. First he sent in the heavy boys: Butch and Sundance. A rattling of beaks on the door.
And then came The Carpenter. A quiet sound to begin with, becoming steadily more insistent, until the rasping of toothed beak against wood could be heard all over the house. When I next ventured outside, shavings from the door’s bottom rail were scattered all over the mat. It might take him a while, but he wasn’t giving up.