by: Cable Street Sioux
Being off work with depression has given me the chance to do some running in our Manchester parks. Now the one thing our parks have in common is Geese, well at this time of the year anyway.
While I was slowly jogging around Platt Fields trying to look like I was actually running, I noticed something that I had observed before about Geese. But this time having more time on my hands due to the whole being off work thing I decided that I’d take a closer look.
What I saw was a gaggle of Goslings, there were probably about 20 or 30 Goslings in a tight group with three Mummy or Daddy Geese strategically placed around the Gosling gaggle. I’m no Geese preproduction expert but by my reckoning even if this Geese threesome, that were guarding the Goslings, had been at it all winter they could not have produced this many Goslings. So where were the Geese that did produce this gaggle of Goslings? Were these three Geese Goslingnappers?
However, as I slowly approached the gaggle, to my left I saw the Geese parents nonchalantly swimming and floating about in the lake. Some of them seemed to be feeding, others sunning themselves, a few took off and flew around in a circle and came back, landed in the water, why they did this was a total mystery to me along with String Theory and multiple orgasms. Maybe they were making sure they could still fly.
I decided that I was going to count how many baby geese there were in this Gosling nursery. I placed myself as far away from the guarding geese as I could while still having a good view of the Goslings. Knowing the ferocity of the Goose, well known by the popular myth of the farmer who keeps Geese to ward off the hordes of criminal gangs roaming the countryside, hell-bent on stealing carrots, sugar beet and other farm-related items. While we city dwellers live in comparative criminal gang-free happiness, testament to our Geese-free households. But, I have also witnessed the savagery of the Geese.
While out running – it is my main pastime – along the Rochdale Canal, I saw up in front of me a hooded youth and his Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The Staffy was angrily growling at a Goose which he must have perceived as impinging on his turf. The hooded youth, stood arms folded, watched the scene unfold as I did.
The dog ran at the Goose, mouth open with murderous intent, fangs ready to bite down on the poor helpless bird. The Staffy leaped full force at the Goose, its brutishness ready to claim yet another victory. However the Goose, unruffled, stepped to one side as the dog flew past him or her. The Staffordshire turned his jaw towards the long neck of the Goose, biting down with lightning speed only to crunch on air, as the Goose manipulated its neck out of danger. At the same time the Goose swung its beak around and bit down hard on the Staffordshire’s ear. The dog went limp, dropped to the floor like a bag of spuds and lay on its back yelping.
The triumphant Goose stood on the now-defeated dog and continued to eat its ear. The hooded youth ran over to rescue his dog, swinging a slow-motion kick that I assume was due to copious amounts of skunk. I may be stereotyping here but he stunk of skunk. He could have been in the same room as a skunk-smoking friend, trying his hardest to convince them to cease their skunky ways, but however he came to be moving at a pace akin to a sloth, he was moving that way.
His kick was easily avoided by the Goose but in avoiding the kick he stepped off the dog allowing the hooded youth to grab his pet and attempt to run off. But the Goose was not letting go of his meal. I am sure Geese don’t often get the chance to eat a dog and this Goose wasn’t about to give up easily. There ensured a tug of war between Goose and man. The hooded youth shouted at the Goose to “fucking let go you bitch”. At which point the Goose did let go, obviously not wanting to play tug of war with someone who uses profanities.
So, I made sure I stood well away from the Geese guarding the Gosling horde. I wanted to count them. I stood before the gaggle, arms across my chest with my best stern look which said, get into groups of five so I can count you more easily. But you know what?, not one Gosling paid me any attention. That is why my estimation of the size of the Gosling gang is a little rough. But a sizeable nursery of Goslings were being minded by three Geese while the parents of these Goslings were out playing in the lake, or eating, or flying around or floating on the water in a very blasé manner. Then it struck me that these Geese have free child care.
Maybe they take turns at the guarding of the unruly Goslings, I have no idea. But it is obvious that the parents of the Goslings do not have to pay for the child care. It is done because it is needed. How strange that Geese can run a society based on need not profit, but we find it so difficult to even comprehend such a society. Unless these were just the ‘Geese before Profit’ collective.