An Unexpected Visitor


I was just kinda staring at the ground, somewhat absent-mindedly kicking pebbles and dodging piles of cat poo — (which are cropping up all over the place, now that the snow is melting) — as I meandered on over to the dog kennel the other morning.

It was turning out to be a gorgeous spring day. But, if truth be told, I wasn’t paying much attention to my surroundings; I was mostly thinking about the delicious stack of buttery pancakes I’d just pounded for breakfast…

That being said, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered a full-grown Canada goose standing right between me and the chicken coop, wings flaired, every feather ruffled, hissing as menacingly as the devil himself.

Stopped me dead in my tracks!

It was immediately apparent, however, that the seasoned old warrior was wounded, because he wouldn’t put any weight on his right leg. He just stood there on one foot, staring me down with his neck arched and his wings outspread, kinda like that scene from Karate Kid.

And let me tell ya, if looks could kill, I probably wouldn’t be typing this right now!

I tried “talking nice” to him, but he wasn’t having any of it. He was ready to do battle with anyone and anything around — but he was so exhausted that it wasn’t long before the poor thing took a hobbling step or two in the opposite direction, and then totally collapsed in the garden.

Recognizing my slim window of opportunity, I quickly took off my red flannel jacket, threw it over the top of the panting gander, and firmly scooped him up.

It just goes to show how exhausted he was, because he really didn’t put up much of a fight. He struggled a bit at first, but by the time I got him into the kitchen operating room, his strength was totally spent. He just lay there, breathing deeply, as I inspected his injured leg.

I spent about 5 minutes or so, feeling all up and down his leg, checking for the tell-tale grinding of a broken bone or the bunched-up swelling of a torn ligament — but there wasn’t any obvious damage. Everything looked and felt fine. The joints were all moving the way they should. He didn’t even seem to wince at my poking and prodding.

Honestly, I was at a loss. Not really sure what to do for him…

I was sitting there scratching my head, when my little monkey (who had been watching quietly with Lindsey), ambled up and began to work her magic.

She cautiously petted his soft gray underbelly, then shot me a quick questioning glance (to make sure I was okay with her touching it), and then, gaining a bit more courage, she kissed the palm of her hand, firmly planted it on his injured leg, and proudly announced:

“There. All Better!”

And in her mind, that was that. It WAS all better.

I couldn’t help but smile.

And after a treatment like that, what more could I do? I decided the best thing now was to give him some food (a couple handfuls of last year’s grain), some water (out of Ryu’s food bowl), and someplace quiet to rest (in the deep orchard grass between two of our apple trees).

When I gently set him down and removed the jacket from his face, he immediately jumped into his “Karate Kid” pose — but as I slowly backed away, he began to relax a bit. Before long he was guzzling down the water and grain.

I left him there alone in the quiet orchard, and went about finishing my chores. When lunchtime rolled around, I decided to go check up on our unexpected visitor again.

I’m not sure if it was the food and water, or the “all-better” kiss from our little monkey, but whatever it was, it worked! I had only taken a couple steps into the orchard when my fine-feathered friend hobbled up on his wounded leg and took off flying toward the horizon, fit as a fiddle and honkin’ up a storm!

I’m not sure where he’s headed, or where he’ll end up — but I sincerely wish him well. His unexpected visit definitely brightened our day.

One thing is certain though, we never have a dull moment around here!


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