Mother Goose and thorny fingers

A couple of weeks ago, I was coming home early in the morning from dropping Miss L off at school. Think I was feeling a tad melancholic, reflecting on life and wondering what was going to happen next. Things are certainly rather different from what I’d imagined doing at sixty. Sometimes my vision is murky, like our fish pond.

Miss L likes to be at school early, so we usually leave around seven. But there’d been so many power outages that the battery of the gate motor had run down completely and was no longer working.

The gate was on “heave-open manually” mode.

Just one more irritating little thing to do instead of pressing a button.

I also had to stop at the Spar on the way home and get milk and bread. Somehow, there’s never enough of that stuff.

Anyway, on top of it all, it was rubbish day. So those dudes with the big trollies were hogging the road, and things were a tad more shambolic than usual.

As I crested the hill on School Road (a sneaky little shortcut that I’d discovered just after I first started doing the school run earlier this year), I noticed that there was this little cactus waving at me.

I burst out laughing and instantly felt better.

I must have seen it a hundred times, but somehow, that day, it leaped out at me. I wave at it daily now.

Then a few weeks later, Leila and I were on our way to school when we spotted a Goose family waddling down the pathway on the side of the road.

Mother Goose, five babies with Father Goose bringing up the rear.

“Oh look,” I yelled at Leila, narrowly missing the car in front of me. We both oohed and aahed about how cute they were.  I wondered where they were going. Rossouw Street is busy, especially in the morning, as there are three schools in the near vicinity.

I was on my way back from dropping Leila off when I saw, to my horror, that the Goose family was about to cross the road. At the zebra crossing nogal. It was my turn to go around the circle, and I watched anxiously in my rearview mirror to check that they were safe.

The birds were hidden from view, but the fact that the entire opposite lane of traffic had ground to a standstill was enough. Clearly, the goosies were safely crossing the road.

I pinched this pic off the internet – so that you can imagine what the little fluff balls look like. I couldn’t find something similar to what we saw.

I wondered where they were going. Probably one of the nearby complexes had a dam or something. After all, we’re in the middle of a water shortage, and the stuff is scarce.

The image of the Goose family kept popping in and out of my head all day. Such bravery. Or was it stupidity? I kept wishing I’d taken a picture of the little feathery train, but surrounded by cars, that had been impossible.

When I went to fetch Leila that afternoon, I scanned the tarmac anxiously, worried that I’d see squished tufts of flat feathers.

Nothing. I heaved a sigh of relief and hoped that they’d reached their destination safely.

It didn’t occur to me that they’d be around the next morning, but there they were. Mother Goose, leading four goslings. Either we were earlier, or they were later, but they were still a long way from the zebra crossing. Maybe this was a daily trek.

Then I gasped. Only four? And where was Father Goose?

Leila shook her head sadly.

I drove the road to school in a daze. My head was stuck on the lack of goosies. What had happened to Papa Goose? I could understand if one of the ducklings had fallen foul to some Jack-like creature, but Father Goose? Surely he could look after himself?

Geese were vicious creatures, weren’t they?

Okay, so these were Egyptian Geese, but they’re about the same size as a common old white goose. And clearly, they were street smart, crossing in the right place and all.

On my way home, I kept my eyes peeled.

To say I was vastly relieved to see a string of five waddling blobs of feathers…ending in Pa Goose would be the understatement of the month. Obviously, one of the babies had been waylaid, and Dad had stopped to look after it.

I drove home with a light heart and a head full of questions.

Why was the goose family trudging back and forth? I’d assumed the previous day that they’d stay near the water. Clearly not. They’d obviously gone back to where they’d come from. Did they go on daily outings to different places? Where did they sleep?

The next day was Saturday, and there was no need to drive to school. I wondered how my little feathered family was doing. Had they survived the thunderstorm? Would the much lighter traffic be as observant as the busy weekday traffic?

No, the geese aren’t hiding in this picture. I just wanted you to see the pathway that they were waddling along.

When we went to school on Monday, I primed my cell phone and handed it to Leila.

“Get ready to take a pic if we see the goosies,” I instructed.

Leila perched on the edge of her seat, ready for action.

But the geese were gone.

By the way, whilst looking for pics on the internet of Egyptian Geese, I discovered that they are actually ducks, and so the babies are called ducklings and not goslings. They also mate for life.

6 responses to “Mother Goose and thorny fingers”

  1. Fabulous read but I really think you should have gone and checked on them over the weekend. I’m hoping a farmer drove past and picked them up. 💕

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