They say two things in life are certain, death and taxes. We have one more certainty at the little farm in Wattensaw. Each year a flock of Canadian Geese returns to produce another crop of young. They’ve been doing it for years.
It started with a single pair, not long after we built the pond. The flock has grown to the point where it can get messy at times. The joy of watching them raise their young each year is worth it, though.
We don’t know where they nest. It’s just one day they appear with their young between the two adults, marching in unison like a squat of soldiers. The parents teach them to swim and, I am sure, to avoid all sorts of natural and manmade dangers. They always seem so happy doing it. And it makes us happy to sit of an evening and watch them.
They seem to go out of their way to show off their brood. I have been sitting in a boat in the middle of the pond when a family, parents fore and aft with the young ones in single file between them, paddled by within a dozen feet or so. I do believe the proud pair does it on purpose to let me see their wonderful children up close.
We read about humans neglecting or mistreating their young. We could certainly learn from our distant kin, the geese. I can’t imagine them in a state of resenting their young or regretting their birth. The only time the adults fuss among themselves is when a stranger comes to close to their children. They don’t squabble over land, possessions, or—heaven forbid—politics. Just don’t mess with their babies.
This morning the honking of the geese woke me up as their flight pattern took them directly overhead. It was strangely comforting. A person could awaken to worse sounds. I certainly have.