Friday, November 28, 2014

Casper the friendly goose, post Thanksgiving ruminations

Bruce and I had Thanksgiving dinner at Janet's yesterday, it was a feast as usual, I contributed a strawberry pretzel salad, if you ever make something they all like and do a good job, it's then tradition and we dare not show up without it. I also made Danish rolls from my new favorite recipe and they disappeared in record time, the family declared them just as good as Bruce and Janet's Mom used to make and that is high praise indeed. I always feel as though I got off easy when I see the table laden with dish after dish of wonderful food. This is the last chance to see Janet and Foof because they leave for a winter in Texas on Saturday, we hate to see them go but they love it down there.

Bruce left early this morning for the IA-NE game at Iowa City with Grassy and his two kids, I slept in till 5:30 and then beat it to Bomgaars for their early bird specials. Bruce gave me his list and I had a long one of my own, the usual fun things, pet food, sunflower seeds, a new everyday winter jacket because my favorite one shelled the zipper out, mouse bait, heated pet bowl, heated pet mat for Clyde's evil sister, Bonnie, who hates everyone and sleeps by herself and I felt bad for her these cold nights, batteries, a new head lamp, you know, the exciting things that people brave Black Friday for.

On the way home I was hearing about fights breaking out at stores when people were fighting over Barbie, of all things, and I thought about my experience in Bomgaars. We are so stinking polite!

"Oh, excuse me, I will move my cart out of the way so you can get by."

"No dear, I'll just step into this aisle."

Everyone should shop at Bomgaars.

Since Bruce won't be home till quite late, I had the day to myself, I dug out some picture Cd's that I had never labeled and came across these old pictures of Casper the friendly goose. Bruce and I came home from the city one day and stopped at the farm to do some chores and there was a goose running around, head in the air, honking up a storm. He was so glad to see us and followed us everywhere, I couldn't leave him there alone as it was obvious he was very distressed. Bruce grabbed him by the neck and I picked him up, he wrapped his head around my neck and quieted, we rode home in the back of the pickup.

We had no idea where Casper came from, it was obvious he was not a stray goose because Casper sat on the front step waiting for us to come outside, then accompanied us wherever we went. When we drove in the driveway, both Sadie and Casper came running to greet us and Casper ran along side the car, trying to see in the window. When Bruce was splitting wood, he sat on a bucket and Casper plopped down beside him, pressed against his leg and kept him company. Several times Bruce had to divert a log from dropping on his head.

It took about three weeks for Foof to come clean, he was the one who brought Casper to the farm. His son was given the goose as a baby and was told it was a wild goose, so Brian figured when Casper grew up, he would fly away, only Casper wasn't wild.

I loved Casper, I'd never had a goose before and he was so goofy, he ran around with his beak in the air and would stumble over things that he didn't see. What I didn't love was the piles of goose poop, everywhere, especially in front of the door where Casper sat. We agreed to doggie sit for a nephew who was going to be gone for the weekend and there was no one to take care of Gunner. He was a young black lab with a voracious appetite and was limited to three small portions of dog food a day that he inhaled and looked for more.

Gunner was kenneled in the house except when I was home and then he was free to explore outside. I called him in for the night, he came in and jumped on the couch, suddenly I noticed he didn't look so good, before I could get him off, he threw up all over the couch. I pulled him outside and cleaned up the mess, it stunk to high heaven! I called Gunner back in, he just made it past the door into the kitchen before he barfed all over the rug and floor. This time I went out with him, I wanted to see what he was getting into. It was goose poop! He was reloading every time I put him outside, Gunner was running around slurping up goose poop like a vacuum cleaner! Needless to say, Gunner was only allowed outside under strict supervision for the rest of the weekend. I was not sorry to see him go home.

Geese are messy drinkers, they take a mouthful of food and then swish it around in the water so Casper made a mess out of chicken waterer when he would get in the coop. I didn't have my backyard pond, thank heavens, so I kept this rubber tub filled with water for him. He's standing on one leg, sleeping with his head tucked back in his feathers. At least he wasn't sleeping in front of the door and pooping all over.

Geese can get mean and Casper was getting a little ornery, especially to Sadie. He would grab her by the side, flail her with his wings, then do a victory dance with his wings high in the air. I couldn't stand to see sweet, gentle Sadie abused by a goose so talked to a neighbor who had a bunch of geese like Casper and she said she would take him. 

Casper must have known something was up because he was on his best behavior for awhile, then one day we were outside, I opened up the chicken coop and suddenly Casper pinned Sadie up against the wall and flogged her. Before he could do his victory dance, I grabbed him by the neck, wrapped my arms tightly around his wings, carried him to the old car and got in. I was driving down the road, holding tightly to Casper, when he got one wing free and was fighting me for control of the steering wheel, all the time dropping copious amounts of aromatic goose poop in my lap. We made it to the neighbors in one piece, I hauled Casper to the fence surrounding all the goats, sheep and geese. They all came running to see what was up, I tossed Casper over the fence, he immediately grabbed a goat by the side, flogged it with his wings, then did his victory dance, holding his wings and head high.

I quickly got in the car and tore off for home before the neighbors saw what a rogue I let loose on them. It was different around home, I no longer had to watch where I walked or head off visitors from the front step. Sadie no longer had to live in fear of getting blindsided. The chicken water was no longer disgusting. I did miss getting greeted by a dog and a goose when I came home but it all evened out in the end. 

I did hear about Casper now and then, the second year he was at his new home, he took a baby gosling under his wing, so to speak, so I guess he had some redeeming value.


  1. great story Julie! I remember you talking about this goose and how it was Foofie who put him into your lap, so to speak........your descriptions are just so colorful, my mind can image everything you write. I love your blog!!

  2. I had forgotten all about Casper the friendly (or not so friendly, depending on your ID) goose! Last night Gerald was reading it and often breaking into loud belly laughs at your descriptions. He kept saying, "You have to read her blog; you will laugh too!" And I did! Best of luck tomorrow - I feel you will be just fine, but will pray for that, just to be sure! Love, Janet

  3. I was reading this out loud to John on Sunday night, too, and we were howling with laughter! and once again - you are such a good writer! Thanks for writing this blog!!