Boston: 3/30 – The Relentless Fury of a Canadian Goose

Another dangerous encounter down by the river.

On the first day of 2023, I decided to stay in bed for hours flipping through the (e-)pages of a book. The morning was slow, Nimbus was snoring next to me, and I was perfectly content with how things were going. Around 11am, I recieved the best kind of “you up?” phone call.

“Hey nerd, you want to get breakfast?”

The first day of 2023 was clearly off to a great start, but unfortunately this was not a consistent theme for the day. After breakfast, I went back home and got into a cleaning groove so I spent about 2 hours dusting, sweeping, and mopping. Cleaning has always been a relaxing task, I suppose airing out the residual dust and debris within your home is a lot easier than organizing the thoughts and discomfort swirling around your head. After I was done cleaning, I decided to go on a bike ride around the city. The sun was setting as I found myself cruising across the Mass Ave bridge towards downtown. I did my usual loop before heading back towards the Esplanade. The paths were pretty clear so I continued to zip back and forth between the bike and pedestrian routes.

There were couples sitting on benches gazing out across the river, people walking down the pedestrian paths catching up on phone calls, and I watched someone’s cute dog retrieve a stick from under the willow trees. Watching these sweet moments between people (and animals) happening all around me reminded me of my intention because part of my process will definitely be inviting friends on walks in parks. Little daydreams of future walks with friends danced around my head until suddenly, my tire hit a bump in the concrete and the chain fell off my bike. I slowed down and pulled off to the grass so I could flip my bike over.

Luckily, unruly bike chains are super easy to fix. Unluckily, bike grease gets everywhere so any attempt to clean it off your hands without water and soap is futile. It was a mess, there was definitely grease on my forehead, and the tape on my handlebars is no longer white, BUT I was back on my bike in no time. I continued biking around laughing about my bad luck until reaching the final boss of my day. The sun was completely down so the bike path was kinda dark and spooky, especially in the areas that were not illuminated by the street lights. Suddenly, I noticed a single goose standing directly under the street light about 30ft away. My sister and I have a collective fear of geese, so we often send each other photos of our encounters with them for support (and laughter)

The image of this lonesome goose standing all ominously underneath a single street light in an empty park sent shivers down my spine, but I bravely hopped off my bike to snap a photo. As I lifted my camera up, this goose whipped its entire body around and started CHARGING down the path leaving me defenseless, I was paralyzed by fear clinging to hope that the aggressive wing flapping was not directed at me. The goose continued running and flapping at full speed. As it got closer, the thundering honks coming from its small, yet terrifying little body became louder. This goose had malicious intent to cause harm, it’s unwavering fury became more clear with every stride as it raced across the dark bike path.

I ran in the opposite direction turning down a path that curved around a random maintenance shed. I stopped to catch my breath so I could call Sage to tell her what just happened. Imagine getting a FaceTime like that? She answered an unexpected FaceTime to find me alone in a park at night panting and struggling to explain what was going on. I started to tell her about the goose under the streetlight, but the story was cut short by the sound of the goose slapping its beastly, little webbed feet on the concrete. Sometimes the mind can play tricks on you, so I tried to tell myself that it was just a leaf, or a random jogger. There was a shadow on the concrete that progressively got larger until its ghastly figure was in full view.

“Oh my god it followed me. It’s here..”

We both froze as if we were waiting to see who would make the first move, and of course I started booking it down the path. Sage was on the other line trying to figure out what the heck was happening and if the goose was still on my trail. Once I got to a safe distance, I gave her the whole story.

“Okay but why didn’t you immediately just get on your bike and go?”

I don’t have an answer to that question. All rational thought goes out the window during times of crisis, just like this spine-chilling encounter with a goose. Geese do not inspire delight, joy, or happiness, but I’m lucky that I have my sister who also shares the same collective fear. Just like most kids who grew up going to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Long Island, we find a sense of community in this collective fear of vengeful waterfowl.

See ya.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Ruddy Rower says:

    I also have a slight fear of geese and what their true intentions are. Glad you made it out alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can’t believe so much anger and fury can exist in such a small body…


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