Honkin’ on Campus with the Pond Geese, by Miranda Wehde

   They’re back! A chill runs down my spine into my legs, which begin to tingle knowing they would soon have to take action. Walking to Central Hall will no longer be a leisurely stroll. Instead, for the remainder of the semester it will be a battle, between me and the geese.

            Some wonder why I am frightened by the creatures, but they don’t realize my fright is tied to respect. Respect for their strength and speed, respect for their sharp beaks, respect for these wild creatures that decide our tame campus is a good place to mate. It is because of this respect that when I approach one or many on a sidewalk and they turn their snake-like heads at me I immediately divert my path. I know that these are animals, not some prop admissions periodically puts out to entice prospective students. There are those who feel I am giving the geese too much credit, hyperbolizing their attributes, making them vicious, when they are truly cute and cuddly. To you doubters I ask you to spend a sunny afternoon watching the geese. It will not take long for you to see a fight break out between them. Not only do fights break out between mating partners, but it would appear the couples are at odds with one another too.

            Being from nature these geese, much like many of our professors, aren’t going to take any crap from young, foolish college students; students who think because they are tough that they don’t have to respect geese. Tough and stupid are two different things and one has to be stupid to mess with the geese. Geese don’t care about feelings all they know it what nature has taught them and apparently not taught these stupid students: you step into some else’s territory, prepare to get messed up.

            I on the other hand understand the ways of nature, or at lease try, so I walk around the geese, often in the grass, to get to where I’m going. While many might see this an inconvenience, I do not. For, these individuals forget that life isn’t a direct path and neither are Central’s sidewalks and when you respect the geese you might get put on a path much faster than your intended route.

 

Miranda Wehde

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2 responses to “Honkin’ on Campus with the Pond Geese, by Miranda Wehde”

  1. Don Huffman says:

    Miranda,
    I enjoyed your “geese musings”. If it would make you feel any better I will tell you how my dog, Blitzen IV deals with the appearance of Canada Geese as we walk in Central’s cross-country and athletic fields just west of the parking lot.
    If Blitzen IV (now an 11-yr. old Labrador Retriever) encounters a single, or a couple of geese, she boldly chases them off and barks at them in a ferocious manner. However, if there is a flock of them, as your photo near the pond shows, she just keeps away from them and ignores their presence. She could probably do more damage to them than they could to her, but she knows when it is best to follow the time-honored advice, “Don’t pick on anything if you are outnumbered and you’ll live to bark another day.” Sustainability goes on peacefully if one takes this approach to geese and a lot of other things in life!
    Don Huffman, Emeritus prof. of Biology.

  2. David Timmer says:

    I like your perspective, Miranda. You’re focused on the damage that the front end of the goose can do. I tend to worry more about the back end, while I hop-scotch around the pond. But it is nice (I guess) to have some wild things in such a tame environment.

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