I was stared down by a goose at high noon

Not at noon, really, more like nine o’clock this morning.

I was out for my morning jog through the park when I came across a gaggle of geese. For those of you who aren’t intimately familiar with semi-domesticated, park-inhabiting geese, they come in two varieties: the ones who get out of your way, and the ones who attack you. The ones who attack you are either geese with kids, and overly aggressive males. The latter are easily recognisable as they instantly get into the “angry goose” position and start hissing at you. If you’ve never seen a goose in this position, I urge you to seek out and provoke a goose at the earliest opportunity. Since there were no goose kids around and no goose adopted this stance, I assumed these geese were all of the get-out-of-my-way variety and would leave the path to let me pass. And they did. All of them.

Except one.

One goose turned out to belong to a hitherto unknown third variety, the Clint Eastwood Goose. It stayed exactly where it was, bang in the middle of the path, flat feet well apart, wings hovering over revolvers, staring me right in the eye. I slowed down, giving it more time to get out of my way. It didn’t budge. I was getting close to it now. The sun was approaching zenith. The shadow of the stick in the ground had almost disappeared.

Not a feather ruffled on it, the Lee Marvin of geese. Its mighty beak was closed, its face expressionless. I outweighed it by a good thousand per cent, but it was of no concern to this rattlesnake of a goose. I looked it in the eye, and realized that I had not its indomitable will. It had broken me. I was defeated.

I started pulling to my right to circle around it and avoid the inevitable confrontation. Then, but only then, when I had already announced my intention to withdraw from the cataclysmic clash to come, did it move. It took a few steps to the other side of the path, letting me pass. I may be mistaken, but as I passed, I think I saw it nod. The nod of the gracious victor to the worthy opponent.

The goose stared me down and won. I lost a chicken race to a goose. So know, companions, know that we humans may consider ourselves the masters of the world, but they’re out there. And against a Gary Cooper Goose, even the mightiest of men fall flat.

Ah! But humankind CAN get it’s revenge on the Animal Kingdom!
For example:

How to Wind Up a Horse

(I did this when I was a lot smaller and stupider!)

  1. Yawn

  2. Horse yawns

  3. Think Evil Thoughts - yawn again but even BIGGER!!

  4. Horse yawns AGAIN

  5. Yawn even BIGGER!!

  6. Horse yawns, gets pissed off, flattens ears, swishes tail

  7. Walk away from still-yawning p’d off horse, grinning madly

I haven’t had any stare-downs lately with any geese, but I did get accosted by some monkeys when I was recently in Gibralter.

They tell you not to have food with you when you go near the creatures. “They’re wild animals,” they warn. However, on my last trip to that little British possession on the tip of Spain, our tourguide actually gave us nuts to give to the monkeys, so we figured it was OK. This trip, we brought peanuts.

Instantly, we were a hit. The rest of my family, a little uncomfortable at the sudden interest in us by the furry creatures, decided to withdraw from the feeding process. I, however, was a bit braver.

It’s easy to identify the dominant monkeys. They’re the big, fat ones who can send smaller ones scurrying with no more than a look. Of course, always wanting to help the little guy, I was planning on feeding the less dominant monkeys. The other ones didn’t agree.

I had two monkeys that decided to grab onto my leg- they weren’t doing so in a vicious, threatening way or anything, simply in a “I’m not letting go until you give me food- so hurry up about it, will you?” manner. While this was going on, I had other monkeys reaching into my pockets to attempt to extract more peanuts.

All in all, it was a very fun experience. A few days later, I then went on to hand-feeding pigeons in Barcelona…

Yield: 8-10 Servings

1 goose, 10 pounds approximately
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Giblets-neck, heart and gizzard
1 small onion
1 carrot
Bouquet garni consisting of 1 sprig thyme, 3 or 4 parsley stalks, a small piece of celery, 6 or 7 peppercorns
Cold water to cover

Remove the wishbone for ease of carving. Put the wishbone into a saucepan with the giblets, onion, carrot, bouquet garni and peppercorns. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 hours. (Add the wing tips to the stock if desired.)

Season the cavity of the goose with salt and freshly ground pepper and fill with the cold stuffing. Sprinkle some sea salt over the breast and rub it into the goose skin. Roast for 2 to 2 ½ hours in a preheated moderate oven, 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take the roasting pan from the oven three or four times during the cooking and pour off the excess fat. (Store this fat in your refrigerator-it keeps for months and is wonderful for roasting or sautéeing potatoes.) To test whether the goose is cooked, prick the thigh at the thickest part. The juices which run out should be clear; if they are pink the goose needs a little longer. When cooked, remove the goose to a large serving dish and put it into a low oven while you make the gravy.

Geese are bastards.

All Geese are bastards.

There is no bastard worse then a cranky goose.

I must be a cranky goose magnet because 3 times geese have attacked me! Not one other animal has looked at me sideways but geese hate me. They chase me, peck me at will and make that horrendous noise ALWAYS.

Bloody geese! Satans own large, hissy birdies.

I hate them. I just wish I lived somewhere we ate the buggers, evidently stuffed goose neck was quite the thing in it’s day.

Death to Geese.

I feel your pain they stare me down everytime. Fight back! Or at least hiss back. The bstards have it coming!

Don’t I sound lovely/ :smiley: (we can’t let the hissyingbirds win)

Oh the joy…the fun…

…the pain of walking down a boat ramp at a lake, carrying your canoe on your back, and then slipping on goose shit.

Goose shit peppers a boat ramp the way sesame seeds cover a bun.

Despite that little adventure, I still like geese. Of course, I’ve never been accosted by one, though when you’re down on one knee after slipping in green crap, with a canoe crushing your head, the sounds of honking geese seem a lot like laughter. Hysterical laughter.

We had a pet watch goose when I was a kid. He was friendly with the family and the dog, but that mean bastard kept strangers and everything else out of our back yard. But one day he made the mistake of biting Gravel Gertie, (my mom), who was pretty damn mean herownself. She summarily executed and cooked his ass.

She used his blood to make the gravy. :eek:

I went tubing on the Guadalupe (large river in central Texas) a couple weekends ago. It was a crowded summer day, and hundreds of tubes lined the river.

As I sat basking in the cold water drinking my canned Heineken, a goose waddled up to the far shore and started honking ferociously at the passing tubers. “Get out of my river, you bastards!” the goose seemed to say. I’ve never seen one get so frustrated in my life. It was hilarious.

Growing up, my family lived within walking distance of a nice little park with a shallow lake in the center. It was a favorite hangout for me during that time in my life when I had lots of trouble I wanted to get into, but few places to go do it in. We’d go down there and fish for carp, tromp around in the cattails, and generally just do what kids do best.

One late summer day as we were wading around by the shore and playing around with a long poled fishing net my buddy Lyle had brought, he noticed a candian goose go swimming up into the cattails directly behind us. He noted this, noted the fishing net, and then got that gleam in his eyes which always meant he’d just had an idea and I probably wasn’t going to like it.

“I’m going to go catch that goose”, he announced, and then grabbed up the net and waded out into the cattails. It’s been years since this day but I still have visions of what was about to happen next burned into my memory.

My buddy was deep into the cattails. So deep, in fact, that standing thigh deep in the water outside of them, all I could see was the top of the fishing net bobbing along with his movements.




and then suddenly…

SWISH!! Down went the net!

An explosion of splashing and honking erupted from inside the cattails. At first I couldn’t tell what was going on but then suddenly a huge black shape cannonballed out from the tall weeds and into the open water right in front of me. It’s wings were spread wide from its body and its eyes were glowing with anger.

“HHAAWWWWWWNNKKK!!!” It roared. This was unmistakably Canadian Goose for “Get out of my way or persish!”. I dove to my right and the enraged goose blasted by me. All I could think of was how much bigger those things look when you are in the water with them and they are trying to take your head off. It swam furiously to the center of the lake where it finally settled down and coasted to a stop.

A few moments later Lyle emerged from the bushes with a grin on his face.

“Man! it got away!”

Ya… no crap… :wink:
Man… I miss those days…

Their necks are pretty fragile.

My backyard is right on a park that I have to walk through everyday to get to school/work. There is a gaggle of geese living here. The kind with kids. They line the paths and have no fear about not moving. I hate it when they stare you down, and as you get closer, it’s clear they ain’t moving. Then, they open their mouths and the hissing starts. Oh god, the hissing! Have you ever looked at a goose while hissing? That my friends is one scary thing to behold. I’ve yet to be bitten but I think they’ve marked me. They follow me around, memorize my movements. They’re just waiting for the right time to strike.

I have this assault twice a day!

I’m sure the former didn’t hurt the latter :wink:

Hey, Geese are no joke! And the mean ones? Hooo lawdy!

You’re lucky to have escaped.

Gees might have fragiel necks, but they give one hellacious headbutt.

ExTank , they bite, too. They’ll bruise your leg, if they get you.

[Sonny Curtis]

I foungt the goose, and the goose won.

[/Sonny Curtis]