The Carpenter

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.


The Carpenter

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2017-11-06T20:52:26+00:00October 1st, 2012|Tags: |


  1. elaine October 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    I have never kept geese only ducks, which I love – where we live is very foxy country and the last three I had were beheaded – so no more! Trouble is with any animal once you start feeding them they never give up – even the birds in the garden make me feel guilty if the feeders need filling.

    • Jessica October 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm - Reply

      Yes, it’s the foxes that would worry me the most. The ducks and geese in the previous cottage went out into the middle of the lake at night, where they were safe. We haven’t the space to do that here.

  2. Simone October 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Maybe he had been watching too many woodpeckers?!!!

    • Jessica October 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm - Reply

      Ha Ha. You could be right! Not sure how many ‘teeth’ he had left at the end of it though!

  3. john October 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    I kno I must NOT have favourites but my three female geese are my absolute favs on my field… basically because I brought them all up from goslings… i adore them

    • Jessica October 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      They are easy to adore, even as adults. The different personalities make them such fun to watch. I could (and have) spent a whole afternoon just watching them preen.

  4. Penny October 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    I love their names !
    I had four hens & loved them popping in… trouble was they liked to pop to the neighbours too ! sadly all gone now, would love some in the future but for now have got the garden looking nice again !

    • Jessica October 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      The ‘posh’ part of the garden would have to be strictly out of bounds.. although the pheasants already do their share of pecking and scratching at that!

  5. starproms October 2, 2012 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Gorgeous photos of the geese. Those are clever birds. They know just how to get round you.

    • Jessica October 2, 2012 at 12:30 am - Reply

      I was at the point of climbing out the rear kitchen window… I couldn’t leave by the door without coming under seige!

  6. Rosie October 2, 2012 at 9:08 am - Reply

    I quite like geese! I love the shape of them when we see them around our local lakeside walk especially the greylags. I find the white farm yard ones can be quite intimidating I have memories of not daring to pass some down a path as they were honking and hissing so much. Your visitors look very determined and I love the names you gave them:)

    • Jessica October 2, 2012 at 9:45 am - Reply

      It is the shape of them, isn’t it? The curves are so elegant.

      I did get pecked by one of the white ones, and it hurt! He/she seemed to feel it wasn’t get a large enough share of the food I was handing out one day.

  7. Sue October 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    I love my three Chinese Grey Geese to bits, Harry, Larry and Mo are all girls (thank goodness), we didn’t know what sex they would turn out as we bought them as week old goslings along with their mum Mother Goose, who is a stroppy chicken.

    Once they got to twice her height she rather unceremoniously abandoned them and started sitting on some more eggs, most likely desperate to have ‘normal’ little chicken babies!!

    Sue xx

    • Jessica October 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Aaahh! She must have been so confused… I’d be pretty stroppy if something like that happened! Lovely story.

  8. Natalie October 3, 2012 at 4:29 am - Reply

    I really want some geese! The ducks and geese have your number. Corn,nummy!

    • Jessica October 3, 2012 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Be warned, your life will no longer be your own (but they’re worth it!).

  9. ropcorn October 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Such beautiful birds. And very brave ducks. Hehe. I love how Churchill looks like a true boss with his proud walk. 🙂

    • Jessica October 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm - Reply


  10. Hamilton Courtney October 9, 2012 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    What a charming blog and what charming animals.
    It’s been an absolute delight looking through your blog darling.

    • Jessica October 10, 2012 at 7:11 am - Reply

      And your blog is absolutely mouthwatering! Many thanks for visiting rusty duck, Hamilton!

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