A Knock On The Door

One summer day I decided to clean out the Canada goose’s pen. Her broken wing had healed and she was a day or two away from being released, so I carried her into the garage and closed the door. Realizing it was lunchtime, I went inside and made sandwiches. My kids and I sat down to eat, and a few minutes later there was a knock on the door leading into the garage.

“Is anyone coming over?” asked my nine-year-old son Mac. I looked at him blankly, completely forgetting about the goose.

“I’ll get it,” said my daughter Skye. She opened the door, and in hopped the goose. “Mom,” she said, already sardonic at age eight. “It’s for you.”

The goose strolled into the kitchen, as if it were something she did every day. Suddenly, however, she spotted Merlin – our dark, 120-pound, and, you’d think, scary-looking Curly-coated retriever – and let out a trumpet of rage. She tore across the kitchen, wings outstretched; Merlin, no fool, turned and bolted from the room.

Our kitchen and living room are connected by two doors at opposite ends, so it’s possible to run a circle in and out of the kitchen. Merlin, who evidently had no intention of being cornered, appeared and raced by with the goose in hot pursuit; they disappeared, then hurtled by once more.

“It’s like the ninth race at Hialeah,” I cried.

The two parrots erupted from their perches on the bay window. Zack, the yellow-collared macaw, flew from the room, shrieking hysterically; Mario, the African Grey parrot, circled the kitchen, landed on one of the counters, and shouted, “Are ya scared?”

“Merlin!” called Mac, who has always been the eye of the storm. “Mario is asking you a question.”

I waited for the next lap and threw myself in front of the goose. Hissing violently, she slammed on her brakes; grabbing her head with one hand and her body with the other, I gathered her up and lugged her back into the garage. When I returned Merlin was sitting in the corner, looking aggrieved, and my family had returned to lunch.

“Next time there’s a knock on the door,” said Skye, “maybe we shouldn’t open it.”


About suziegilbert

I live in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley and have been rehabbing birds for over twenty years. I’ve written a memoir about the slippery slope all rehabbers eventually slide down, called “Flyaway: How a Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings,” published in 2009 by HarperCollins; and a children's book called "Hawk Hill," published in 1996 by Chronicle Books. I also write all kinds of freelance content. Please see my website, www.suziegilbert.com
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6 Responses to A Knock On The Door

  1. LOL….I love the commentary..Our neighbor has domestic geese that visited our pond during the spring and summer. After repeated tries to give the ganders a piece of bread (with the owners permission), I would get hissed at and back off. Finally one of the ganders came up to me slowly and took the piece of bread while the other one hissed at me…

    Later in the day I was in the kitchen and heard a tapping at the window. My husband said, “There is a goose at the door to the deck”. “What?” No way could one of those huge non-flying ganders make it up the stairs.

    But Oh I was wrong…Benji had learned quickly where the bread was…I didn’t want to reinforce the behavior, but I wanted him off the deck as he had already left a pile of goose poo. I stood at the bottom with bread and waved it to him.

    Well heck, he couldn’t get down as easily as he got up. I tried to approach, but that didn’t work. My husband and I got a large sheet and threw it over him, grabbed his neck and wings and took him down. I think the scary sheet kept him from coming up on the deck again. But he did like to nap in our yard near my husband’s hammock and hubby would give him some bread.

    They are large and powerful and they don’t do stairs…Michelle

  2. Barry Montgomery says:

    Suzie. Having seen your kitchen, your story was even more vivid. A goose is a huge bird in a small space and with the other birds joining in, there must have been bedlam. Wow!


  3. Joellen says:

    you are hilarious. thats all I have to say. 🙂

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