This bill was made for pinching
(Good golly I wonder what kind of blog traffic I will get with that post title.)
Spring! Yes, spring: cute little fuzzy chicks and goat kids and all that; lovely little bulbs poking through cold soil, little seedlings growing under their lights, mild breezes…what’s not to like about SPRING?
Well, around here, this wonderful season coincides with our male poultry’s sexual maturity. For months now, the tom turkey has been strutting his stuff (and mostly ignored). One gander, the Christmas goose who never got cooked, has turned fire-spitting mean. He doesn’t hiss at me as I am She Who Brings Food, but he’s flown at and pinched our daughter and has given both Tom and the dog the bum’s rush any time they come near. I thought: well, fine, that Christmas goose shall soon be cooked, leaving us with the nice gander and the nice goose.
Until this weekend, that is, when I saw the Nice Gander sitting on the nest and laying an egg.
How could I be so wrong? This goose (because that’s what she is) is huge, and also fairly aggressive toward the dog and my husband. The other goose, well, looks like a goose: she’s delicate, she’s actually nice, she sits on the nest box a lot. Ah. What to do now: I still don’t need three geese.
My daughter remains confused by the whole turnabout with the gander’s behavior. In about three short months he went from an easily petted, come-up-to-you-for-food kind of guy, and liked being around the girl. Now, well, now he attacks. “It’s not his fault,” I told her, “he’s actually just kind of sick. He’s got this thing called ‘testosterone poisoning.'”
“Will he get better, or will you kill him, Mama?” she asked.
“Well, let’s hope we all learn to get along, kiddo. You have to be careful around him, and he has to be careful around anyone, or else.”