We rent a few acres of land near where we live, and as well as sheep, chickens, and ducks, we also have geese. They look wonderful and are fascinating creatures, but I must admit I have had a few issues with them over the last few months. They hiss as you approach them, and often want to nip at your ankles and chase you. Once you understand them I guess they are beautiful in their own way!

Here are a few things I’ve learned about them:

• Geese are sensitive. They are super-sensitive to unusual movements, and unlike the sheep who are chilled and not at all bothered to receive visitors into their field, the geese are so very different. They are very aware of what is going on around them, almost hyper-vigilant. Are we sensitive and aware of those around us? Are we taking notice of who comes into our ‘field’ and our zone? How do we reach out and react to others?

• Geese stick together. It seems to me that whatever the breed, geese tend to stick together. They don’t wander off and isolate from others. They know their strength is in their togetherness. Covid times has forced us into a period of stark isolation, hasn’t it? How do we stick together when we have been so ‘apart?’ What does it mean to be together? Is that always in the literal sense? How do we cultivate that togetherness more and moreover the coming months?

• Geese are guardians. Domestic geese have been used for centuries as guards and can be the most protective and aggressive of all poultry. The South Vietnam Air Force used flocks of geese to guard their parked aircraft at night due to the noise they would make at intruders!*

How protective are we of each other? How do we guard each other and be each other’s guardians, and watch out for danger coming? What sort of friends are we? Who are we watching out for?

What can we learn from the geese? What can they teach us?

*Grandolini A. (July-August 1997). “Indo-Chinese Fighting cats: Grumman’s superb bearcat in Vietnam.” Air Enthusiast no 70. P17. ISBN 0143-5450

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