*note* I started this post back in April, but am just now completing it. I already admitted to being a loser in several areas of my life in my previous post, blogging being one of them. So I’m covered… *end note*
Like many rabid joggers, I waited for the first flash of spring to come leap-frogging past the biting cold of winter. Having been kicked out of the gym for impersonating someone who actually owned a gym membership *shameface*, I had to move outdoors much sooner than I really wanted to for my daily runs. The bad news was that I needed top start hauling in to work a myriad of extra gear just to run two miles. The good news was that my running time decreased at least 30 seconds per mile. I ran in the freezing rain. I ran in the snow. I ran in the bitter cold that VA experienced this year (this is the south… I didn’t sign up for anything below 30 degrees). But finally, spring was in the air and my feet were being called to run in its glory.
As I began to train for my upcoming half marathon, I expanded my runs, and also the route I was using. One glorious day, I set off from the back of the building in which I work, and strode briskly down the sidewalk. I saw that there was a goose squatting by the roadside about 30 feet ahead of me. This is not unusual, seeing as we have a manmade “lake” on our work campus, and geese can often be found crapping all over the place, creating a minefield for runners and walkers alike. I’ve been honked at a few times… hissed at on occasion… but today was no ordinary goose encounter. As I approached, I saw the goose’s feathers begin to get ruffled. First it honked… then it hissed… causing me to move cautiously to the far side of the sidewalk, but I had no further cause for alarm. This had happened before.
As I passed the goose, music blaring in my headphones, I became increasingly aware of a growing presence behind me, and I quickly looked to my right, only to experience a honking cloud of feathers in my face, writhing and recoiling towards my person. My hands flew up to defend myself, but seriously, how does one properly fend off a goose? You have the body, which is substantial enough to strike, but the real threat has to be the long, skinny neck with the tough beak on the end of it. Save the mental foresight to grab the neck and start swinging the thing around (that probably only happens in people’s dreams), what can One actually do? Scream and run, which is exactly what I did. I ran ahead about twenty feet with my heart pounding, and then stopped and just started laugh uncontrollably. Admittedly, strange things do seem to happen to me. So I’ve grown to truly have an appreciation for the absurd. Physically unscathed, I completed my midday jog. But I did report the goose attack once I got back inside the building.
Apparently, this was not a one-time occurrence. Apparently this goose was on the prowl for runners and walkers alike. And apparently, once I did a quick Google search, this is a common occurrence in Spring for geese. You see, each spring, the female goose in a pair will lay her eggs in a nest, and then have to sit on said nest for much of her time, until the hatch. Her male counterpart is then charged with patrol duty. He will be somewhere nearby at all times, and will act aggressively towards anyone/anything who threatens the safety of the nest and his mate. It might sound sweet, but, from experience, it’s a crap sandwich to unwittingly get between the goose and the gander. Helpfully, my search terms came back with recommendations on how to prevent further attacks, including this “very” scary floating deterrent:
Or for the exceedingly wealthy, you can also purchase this hand-held laser deterrent device for the paltry sum of $1500.
Who knew? The Goose saga continued on from there, with more and more of my coworkers reporting their own goose attacks, until sadly, someone was actually injured while trying to escape the goose’s wrath. Signs were posted. Blockades set up. Security notices sent out. And then magically, the geese and their nest seemed to disappear overnight. One can only speculate… nothing can be proven. But frankly, I think we’re better off. I still experience PTSD whenever I hear the flapping of wings or see the flash of a feather.