Today celebrates the anniversary of the time that I spent with Speckles. Every spring will make that known to me–even if I hide.Speckles the Goose came to me in an unusal way, and left in an ordinary way.
I have a border Collie, named Moose, who likes to explore. Last spring she came to the house with an average of one egg a week–goose eggs, I figured. I know dogs like eggs. It’s in their DNA. And she would lope upon the deck and finish them off and I would scold her, as if that meant anything. But one day she showed up with an egg that had not been ruptured. I confiscated it quickly, read her her rights, and walked away with the egg. Her attorney may have said something, but I ignored it.
I knew that eggs needed warmth and softness. So I took some feathers from the feather duster in the pantry, a clean tea towel and a lamp that’s meant to clamp to a headboard to facilitate reading the classics. So what? This was a classic as far as I was concerned.
Three days ticked by. The neighbor children had learned what I was up to. (Mainly because I had told them.) And one night, just before 10pm, the shell cracked and out came Speckles. He earned the name because of the small dots on his head. I immediately called the neighborhood children and they came over, long after bedtime, but this was significant. They held the little goose, spoke in a language that only a goose could understand, and stroked its damp feathers.
I had to feed the little fellow–like his mom would. So I took him out to the garden, gently raked back the mulch that dressed out a geranium and there, exposed nicely, was the tail end of a worm (but could have been the font end, hard to tell). No matter, Speckles pounced on the wiggly dinner before I could clear it properly. What an art! What a skill! And he was only three days old. So we continued this hunt-and-gather day after day, for two days. (That’s one complete day after day.)
Right after a great dinner for Speckles, I put her in a box and left it on the deck so she could enjoy the spring air, like wild animals do. Moose was just doing what a dog does–eat things. And jus like that, Speckles was gone. The neighbor children wailed. I wailed. People wailed because I was wailing. Never again would he sit on my shoulder (snuggle); never again would he waddle to the river.
It was a tough day for me. And as the sping moves on, I’m watching Moose, to see if she might have one more egg to bring home. I will protect Speckles 2 more than I did Speckles 1.
The toughest thing I deal with is that the very next week, I was going to teach him to fly. What a great memory that would have been.