Archive for June, 2013

Mr. Onion Breath

Monday, June 17th, 2013

bad goose

Not once, but twice,  I found GQ in my onion patch on Sunday EATING MY ONIONS! The wretched goose was ripping them out and munching on the bulbs leaving the green leaves strewn about the permanent walkways like flowers for the victor.

I have absolutely no idea how he was managing to sneak into the fenced off area, but he found a way in and was there long enough to develop a  serious case of onion breath.

Twice,  I air-lifted his feathered derriere out of the left-bank garden with snack-interrupted. So…he just marched himself over to my right-bank garden and ripped out all the plant identification markers in my bean field and flung them far and wide.

I scrambled to remember what I had planted where and groused big-time while I stuck my markers back into the ground (extra-deep). GQ watched with a steel glint in his eagle eye.

I’m not sure who coined the phrase “bird-brained” when referring to stupidity, but that individual obviously had no experience with geese.

Sequel Teaser: Man-Rule #3

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

When the meal was over and the boys had finished peppering Keith Hawthorn with questions about life in the major leagues, Keith took his leave and Gray tucked the boys into bed. Both were still wearing their Kansas City Royal jerseys and Gray had to blink their bedroom light on and off several times before they stowed their baseball cards underneath their beds.

Kit was prattling on about Keith’s next visit and the signed baseballs he promised to have in his magic duffle on that fly by, but Bear was quiet and thoughtful.

“What’s up, son?” asked Gray, sitting down on the edge of Bear’s bed.

“I’d like to hear the story of Keith’s bat.”

Gray grunted softly into the darkened bedroom.

“What did mom do with that bat?” asked Bear. “I’d like to know.”

Kit quieted and turned towards the two of them snuggling down in the covers so that he could listen with both eyes and ears.

Gray took a deep and deliberate breath. “This talk stays just between us. Agreed?”

“Agreed,” said Kit.

“Agreed,” said Bear.

“Keith didn’t have it so good growing up.”

“Were they poor?” asked Kit.

Gray shook his head. “This has nothing to do with money. Keith’s father was an angry man and when he got angry he would take it out on Keith.”

“What do you mean, dad?” whispered Bear.

“One day, just before the start of a baseball game, Keith arrived with a black eye and your mom just knew that Keith’s father had given him that black eye.” Gray patted Bear’s knee. “She grabbed a baseball bat, Keith’s baseball bat, and just about destroyed Keith’s father’s car.”

“Holy moley,” said Kit. “Holy moley.”

“In front of everyone? Or secret like?” asked Bear.

“In front of everyone.”

“She made her point. Keith’s father never hit him again.”

The room fell quiet and Gray patted Bear’s knee again.

“I get it, Dad,”said Bear quietly. “Now all the hits are in the bat.”

“That’s right , son. All the hits are in the bat.”


“Yes, Bear.”

“I gave Kit a black eye.”

“Ah. That is different.”


“When you fight with your brother, you fight as equals. You are both the same age and the same size. But when a full grown man hits a child, when an older boy picks on a younger one, when a boy hits a girl… these are grave wrongdoings. A real man protects the weak and helpless.” Gray stood and walked to the door. “That is man-rule #3.”

All’s Quiet on the Eastern Front

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

In a pre-emptive strike, we have mowed down an acre of grassland bordering the poultry pen to create a larger buffer zone of open space. This gives predators less of an area in which to hide and less of an opportunity to sneak up on unsuspecting geese (who literally have no nose for trouble).

I haven’t seen a fox or coyo-wolf in two days, although last night, there was a pascal of coyote-like yips and then a terrible ruckus up at a neighbor’s house involving lots of flood lights and dog barking. This turned into an animal fight and it didn’t go so well for the dog from the sounds of it.

The geese and I are in a constant game of Marco-Polo all day. GQ “wheats” and I must “wheat” back otherwise he panics and screeches like a barn owl until I pop to the window or deck porch where he can see me. He needs to know I’m close. I get it. Now, I Marco-Polo him too as the sun moves across the sky and we keep track of each other.

He is intent on replacing the ten eggs lost in the Raven Raid. Poor Minger. She is heavy with gosling every day. He crows like a rooster when he has his way with her each morning and crows like a peacock when she lays an egg each evening.

He patrols the nest regularly now. So does she. And they both give me hell if the door is shut and they can’t do an egg count. I have to stop everything and rush over to open the pen for them so that they can inspect. And I must wait until they get “the warm and fuzzies” and leave so that I can re-secure the nest by shutting the door.

We’re ratcheting back up. The count is now 17. As the nest fills, everybody calms. I don’t need the snow shovel anymore for protection. Even if they catch me in the pen filling food bowls or adding fresh water, I can sweet talk my way out without incident.

Chinese geese stop laying eggs in June, so this is the mad rush to the finish line,Nest Inspection 2013. On my end, I would really love to have grand-goslings. :)