It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that Canada Geese are virulent pests, and that the lawns of the Northeast U.S. are much ruined because of their migrations.

Still, there’s something noble about them, and not just their elegant necks, their subdued, tuxedo-like colors.

Maybe it’s the fact that they mate for life, and I am still a romantic.  Maybe it’s a fact that they travel in flocks, taking turns at the point and rearguard, so everyone gets a chance to just flap along in the middle without too much thought to which direction they’re going.  Mostly, though, the part about Canada Geese that I think I like is how whenever one of them feeds, there’s always at least one other goose on the lookout, head up, turning this way and that.  That sentinel goose is keeping an eye out, so the other(s) can eat without worry– and then, eventually, one of the others takes over.

I like that they don’t go it alone, and that it’s part of their nature to take turns at keeping watch for the other– no solitary goose to fend for itself.  There’s always a pair, usually more.

Maybe that’s romantic.  Maybe that’s just idealistic.  Maybe it’s just– goose-ish, and not really human.

It still makes me wish, sometimes, that I had a sentinel goose at my back.


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