Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wild Goose Chases

Dozens of Canada geese have flocked to the pond this morning, repeating a strange ritual I first saw last fall about this time. The whole flock is huddled toward one end of the pond, some on the shore and others in the water. Territorialism is rampant among both the squatters and the floaters.

When an unattached gander gets too close to a goose for her gander's comfort, hissing and spitting commences. Those ganders sure know how to express anger, boy. They stretch their necks to their greatest possible lengths and advance toward the interloper with intent and speed. No room for doubt about what they mean: get away from my woman or I'll peck your eyes out!!

I have seen this many times. What I had not seen until I moved to the banks of the pond is the way some geese repeatedly turn themselves upside down (and practically inside out) in the water to shake their lower regions at the sky in some kind of mating ritual. At least, I think it's a mating ritual. After all, it's not the much different from the ways we humans try to attract mates. (While I rarely shake my lower regions at the sky, I've turned myself practically inside out on far too many occasions.) And, it only happens about this time of year. Winter's coming on and I think they want mates with whom to weather the siege and with whom they can immediately get busy come spring.

A man I dated for four years is driving here from Minneapolis today. He says he's coming to return some of my things and to ask me to read a children's book he has written. I don't believe those are his only reasons for driving 1000 miles. He could mail me the book text, and I go to Minneapolis often enough that retrieving my belongings is no problem.

We stopped seeing one another a few months after my move to Missouri. My decision to move was very difficult for him, but his reaction to it was only the final straw. Our relationship had been in its death throes for years before I finally had the courage to end it.

Although he is, on the surface at least, a lovely and loving man, down deep he is one of the angriest, most fearful souls I've ever encountered. His wounds are so deep and so understandable that I confused compassion for love for a long time. It took years for me to come to the unavoidable conclusion that my need to live without the burden of his expectations was at least as important as his need to have me in his life.

Until he called to let me know he's coming here, we had not spoken in almost a year. And now, with winter coming on, he's driving to Missouri.

God, I hope he doesn't flop upside down and shake his lower regions at the sky.


Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

I hear a to-be-continue on this post!!

Ziji Wangmo said...

this sounds great - as long as he doesn't hiss and spit!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Would this happen to be "The Counselor"?

Jerri said...

No, Carrie my love. This is not The Counselor. If he were coming here to show me his lower regions, you'd hear the hallelujah chorus all the way from KC to Portland.

~NanCourt~ said...


You made me chuckle right out loud with that last sentence!

Yes....we want and need an update on this one.

On a serious note, you made a statement that has given me pause to ponder, "His wounds are so deep and so understandable that I confused compassion for love for a long time." Could this be the case in my own relationship?! Or rather, is this what my S.O. is thinking about ME?

Oh dearie me..........

Jenny Rough said...

Well I hope not too. Especially in the cold winter.

Suzy said...

Hmm.. "Peck your eyes out", "hissing and spitting commences," "territorialism is rampant,".....What a guy!
Sounds like a really good time. Wow, you sure know to have fun.