There is a female goose on the pond with the condition known as Angel Wing. The last joint of the wing is twisted and the wing feathers point out rather than lay smooth against the body. Some think it is due to genetics, while others attribute it to a nutritional problem of excess protein when young. Whatever the cause, they are otherwise healthy. They just can’t fly. And that’s the only thing in her mothering that is different from all the other geese on the pond. She does not fly with her offspring when teaching them as parents usually do. Instead, as her mate takes the lead, she runs after her fledglings, chasing them into the air. This summer presented a new challenge as one of her young developed the same condition with one wing and is now grounded as well. As I was watching the three of them the day I took this picture, I wondered if this somehow changed her goose personality, because it seems to have changed her mate.
We always have a few overly aggressive birds and fowl on the pond. Its easy to spot them due to all the noise that ensues, but I don’t remember ever noticing this one as a goose bully before…but he is now. I can appreciate that he has to be more vigilant in his duty to protect his mate and now an offspring because neither of them can fly, but he has become extreme. As the three of them moved across my neighbors yard, he suddenly bolted off in another direction toward a mother duck and her week old duckling sitting in the shade several yards away. The duck quickly put herself between her baby and the attacking goose but she was rapidly loosing the fight. It took that goose only a few seconds to separate the baby from the mother and it looked like the little guy didn’t stand a chance. My husband was moving to intervene when the mother duck somehow got her baby to the water and they both swam away.
This attacking everything around him has become a habit. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he was beyond angry and taking it out on anything he could. Perhaps in his goose brain, he believes himself justified because of his situation. Maybe if he could talk, he would say he couldn’t help it.
The true measure of a person (or possibly a goose) is how they act under pressure when things seem to be going terribly wrong. We can’t blame who we are or what we are doing on our situation. James Allen said it best when he wrote in As A Man Thinketh: