Thursday, January 10, 2008


Despite what Paul Theroux had to say about geese in a Smithsonian Magazine article last year, I still loathe them.

It's that time of year when the dirty monsters make their rounds through Denver's numerous grassy areas and lakes. They descend from above in clacking clouds, defiling the land with their dark green turds and hacking, barking calls. There is nary a place I can walk without having to dodge the messy, moist piles they leave behind. The lake and swimming pools at The Breakers were infested with the things, as are the grounds of the school, the sidewalks near my home and every place in between. While working at CDW in Illinois I witnessed a goose savage a pregnant woman and nearly had to run over it with my car to drive it away from her. Geese are no friends to civilized people and I am no friend of them. Before we moved to Littleton, I delighted in freeing Duncan from his lead to let him chase the things off my lawn, barking at them as they rose skyward in a huffing impossible sweep of wings and fat bodies.

Over the weekend on one of our walks I noticed a strange footprint, a singular thing caught in a small clump of snow between two patches of grass. It was a three-toed impression within a pentagonal imprint and upon first seeing it I thought someone was having a joke at my expense. After all, I've spent enough time creating what I call "elf prints" in the snow using the side of my loosely closed fist and thumb to create a footprint which looks as thought a small, barefoot child has darted across the snow. I was reminded of E.T.s tracks in the dirt outside Elliot's house but upon leaning down and looking at it more closely quickly determined that Clement Park had not been invaded by botanist aliens but by geese. Over the next few days the tracks grew in number until this evening when we were walking down below the skate park and found ourselves in a field overrun with tracks and round little impressions where the things huddled out the night. The snow had turned gray and brown and nearly scraped away by the thousands of tracks which spread out in all directions. Duncan seemed to have discovered it before I did and so I spent much of the remainder of our walk fighting to keep him from behaving like a kid in a candy shop. Everywhere he turned he spied green chunks, ripe and juicy, perfect for sucking down like pasta.

They have invaded again and the park and my boots no longer feel safe. Duncan, on the other hand, will have something new to obsess with, now that the rabbits have become scarce.

Photo courtesy of FotoSearch


Ruth said...

Tho thorry you have to avoid the geethe'th meththy, moitht pileth.

P.S. Dave calls geese a "weed species."

Grandma's son said...

I showed this post to Grandma. She's disturbed that you don't like geese. She thought you liked all cratures. Even those that poop in your park. Of course, Grandma has never walked a path defiled by goose poop.
She even had a pet goose when she was young. She can't remember it's name. But, even though her dad was a chef, she knows she didn't eat it, or even sic her dog on it. Where did you go wrong?
Give 'em a chance. They're but simple creatures, not nearly as smart or worldly as thou. Either that or stay on the sidewalk.