#16. Thanks for not being mad when I hit the goose over the head with the frying pan. That stupid goose.
Did you read that one? After reading Momma Fargo's story about her own geese this morning, I felt like elaborating.
When my mom was pregnant with my baby brothers, and they found dog sized rats in their rental, they decided it was time to buy their own home. After the rat incident (I'm told the last straw was when my mom thought the German shepard we had was playing in the bathtub, only to find it was actually a rat) they moved all of us into my grandparent's home until they could find a place to live. I think they would have taken another rental, but my parent's were young (only 23 or so) and already had four children with one more (they thought) on the way and I'm sure potential landlords saw them coming and locked their doors. So, purchasing it was. My mom stayed at home with us and my dad worked for a large newspaper during the night shift. While it provided for our families needs, it didn't make them rich. So they bought a home with lots of potential out in the middle of nowhere. And I mean nowhere. At the time it was a good 30 minutes from any sort of civilization. It was on acreage, which was appealing since they had a bunch of kids. A beautiful double wide trailer with a broken down well, but it was theirs. And, as the shock of all shocks came three weeks before my mom delivered (it's twins! AGAIN!) I'm sure the thought of having space was more important than anything else.
So, the double wide. I loved that place as a kid. Now, as a mother, I wonder how my mom didn't lose it and murder us all. I have a ton of stories about that place but this one is about the geese.
I don't know why my parent's got the geese. Maybe it was because we lived so far out and they had dreams of owning a farm? (By they I mean my dad.) Whatever the reason was we had two geese and they were terrible. Awful. Mean. Evil. One of my chores was to feed the chickens (yet another farm dream, I guess). The chickens were great; the problem was between our house and the chicken coop were the geese. They terrified me. I tried not to be afraid but I would cry and cry and beg my dad to come with me. He would send me with my little brother, who was more terrified than I. Not much help as I recall.
I clearly remember walking down to that pen. It was an ominous walk, the sky overcast and light rain running down my face. I wore pink sweats and moon boots; standard issue if you live in a double wide. As I walked down to the coop, one of those geese, those stupid stupid geese, charged me and grabbed ahold of my pant leg. I started screaming and kicking and the danged thing wouldn't let go. My brother ran back to the house, crying (thanks Spud). I'm pretty sure my dad was yelling from the house, "It's ok! Just kick it away!" and laughing. (Dad, I'm so sending you my next therapy bill.) It didn't work. When I swung my leg one way the goose just hung on and bounced back still firmly attached to my pants. I could feel the other goose ready to attack, fear and panic slowly taking over my little body and mind. And then, with a light shining from heaven and angels singing in the background, I saw it. A skillet just sitting in the mud at my feet. Without hesitation, I picked it up and I smacked that goose over the head. Not once, or twice, but probably 15 times. Until it let go. And then I'm pretty sure I chased it swinging away like a wild woman. I was victorious. I had won. The other goose started to come toward me and I swung at that one too. And it left me alone. I quietly inched toward the chicken coop, my skillet firmly in hand. Once I was in the coop I knew I was safe. I fed the chickens, processing what had just happened. I was pretty sure my parents were going to be mad at me. I just knew I'd be getting in trouble. After feeding the chickens I picked up the skillet, peeked out the door and headed back up to the house. I saw those geese waiting for me, conspiring. I took off running, my moon boots squishing the mud and my pink sweatpants pulled up high with pride. As I walked into the house I could hear my dad laughing. I entered to applause. The little brother thought I was brave. My parents were proud of me. My mother said she hoped the goose would die. I wasn't in trouble at all.
A few days later the goose I'd pummeled disappeared. My dad said a coyote got to it. Maybe it did, I know I wasn't the only thing who hated those stupid geese. Maybe it had serious brain damage and succumbed to his injuries. That's the story I like to believe. A few weeks later, to much cheering and celebration, my dad took the other goose to the Lake and set it "free".
No more fear. Stupid goose.
("Oh, you loved it!" my dad says. "Look at that smile." Whatever. He's still getting my therapy bill.)