Remember the cartoon in the Sunday paper by Don Keane called “Family Circus?” If you do, you will recall that often he would show Billy’s day by tracking it in dotted lines across the illustration.
Well, when I watch my geese and their antics each day I think of Family Circus. You see my acre of yard is divided across the back into three sections with gates to access each section. I move the geese from section to section on a three-day rotation, because no matter how much I love them, let’s face it, they are very messy creatures!
The third section is the chicken yard and it has a gate into the pasture behind us. Now this is the fun part of their week! They can chase the chickens, invade their run to raid the chicken food, go out into the pasture and run and honk to their heart’s content. Often when I look out my dining room window I will catch them lined up along the back fence looking in at me. If they notice me looking back they will begin to honk loudly and carry on to entice me to come say, “Hey!” and chat awhile.
But it is the early morning on chicken yard days that is the most fun! I let them out of the barn and lure them to the chicken yard with a scoop of grain for breakfast and a clean bucket of water to chase it down. Then, it’s off to the pasture to run and visit the neighbor on the other side.
They love my neighbor because she feeds them only her choicest weeds over the fence and she will stand there and talk to them for up to 15 minutes or more. I assume the conversations to be about the weather, weeds, and other topics of interest to a goose, but I can’t be sure…
Whatever it is they discuss I sense the geese are never ready for the conversation to end so soon, because they always begin to honk and chatter when she leaves them to go inside…
* In researching the Family Circus I found out that the dotted lines are actually called a “Billy Path.” FUN!
For more information on Family Circus, or just to satisfy your curiosity if you aren’t familiar with Billy, you will find it here: http://www.familycircus.com/