High Drama among the Geese
Well, the geese are back. This year there are two moms incubating eggs in the courtyard: The parents of the unfortunate Hoppy and a new couple (the gander of this pair is hardly ever around...) who have set up nest at a respectable distance. Everyone at work is watching the bucolic scene and waiting for the goslings to hatch.
This morning, though, the courtyard was anything but bucolic. In fact, it was like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome: Two ganders go in...
Actually, the drama apparently began yesterday when the newer momma goose launched herself off her eggs, neck thrust out like a honking spear, to admonish some goosey interloper. This was duly reported via email throughout the building.
Whatever kind of goose-ish warfare was going on hit its peak early this a.m. I witnessed it as I headed back to my office after procuring my morning caffeine fix from the company cafeteria. This time, Hoppy's parents were the aggressors. The mom was standing over her eggs, neck thrust toward the trespasser, honking loudly. The dad was flying menacingly at the uninvited guest, who was huddled rather pitifully in one corner of the courtyard. Suddenly, the set-upon goose tried to take flight. Alas, the courtyard was not wide enough (or it was just too pooped) for it to get enough lift to fly out of it. It crashed right into a second-floor window and fell to the ground, whereupon both mom and pop Gooseworthy started pecking angrily at its motionless carcass.
I was horrified! I was certain the downed goose had broken its neck and was dead on the ground. It was as I gazed at this awful scene that I became aware of other eyes watching... and I looked up at the roofline to see a number of other geese, evenly spaced along the perimeter of the courtyard, observing the action. Shudder!
It turns out that the gathered geese and I were not the only witnesses to this fowl violence. Just about everyone whose cube or office overlooks the courtyard had front row seats for the action. The altercation and goose/window collision so upset one of the fact checkers that she had to go home, sobbing.
It turns out that the interloper was NOT killed... at least, not outright. Apparently it arose from its stupor to shrug off the peckers and fly, much the worse for wear but this time successfully, out of the courtyard.
Never a dull moment in textbook publishing... trust me on this one!