Some things never cease to amaze me no matter how many times I witness it. One of those is the actions of a white male goose that lives along the route I take to work. This old bird thinks he is invincible, and to prove it, he will strut his stuff right out into the middle of the highway without any warning. Now, that wouldn’t be so bad if he stayed near the side of the road, but he insists on standing smack dab in the middle—perfectly balanced between the twin yellow lines. Not only that, if you come near him or try to ease by him, he will stretch out his neck, cock his head just a little to the right, and then he spews out a stream of expletives in his particular dialect of goose (or least that’s what all those noises sound like).
I am amazed, not at the fact the goose is in the road, but that he is convinced he owns the road simply because he’s standing in it. Did I mention the road is a paved county road—a main thoroughfare for traffic in this part of the world? This is not some unpaved farm road out in the middle of a pasture near a duck pond on the backside of nowhere. Did I mention I’m in a truck that outweighs the goose at least a thousand times? Did I mention the goose always chooses to take his stroll in the middle of the intersection to declare his ownership of the road during the morning commute for work, at which time most of us who travel that way are already late?
You can toot your horn. You can race your engine. You can roll your window down and yell. You can do whatever you want, but that foul fowl just stares back at you with that blank “how dare you” look. He thinks the road belongs to him and you are nothing more than a hindrance—a pain in his tail feathers—as he takes his daily promenade on the asphalt pavement.
Each morning, I fully expect to see piles of ruffled feathers and tiny puddles of goose grease scattered all across that intersection, where someone has finally put an end to the habit of his sorry carcass waltzing against the flow of traffic. Let’s face it the goose is selfish, self-absorbed, arrogant, and conceited, and he deserves whatever happens to him. But alas, judgment day has yet to dawn. Perhaps the goose is invincible or the drivers too tolerable. Perhaps it amazes everybody else as much as it amazes me. Or…perhaps the goose is like looking in the mirror, and serves as a daily reminder of our own intolerable levels selfishness and stupidity. Perhaps it’s God’s clever yet humorous way of telling each of us to slow down and shape up.
But, for whatever the reason, if you happen take this route, please slow down. That goose is still loose.