November 17, 2005
Turner Co.-- We often hear the honking of Canada geese as they fly south for the winter, but six geese will watch their distant cousins pass by with absolutely no interest in joining them.
Because they live with a modern day Mother Goose who wants to become a grandmother. "Come on," shouts Angelia Cook to a group of geese.
The unmistakable, encouraging voice of a mother has a lot of influence, even with young geese, and where corn rates as a fast food. "They eat about a gallon of corn a day," says Angeliam as she pours corn from a plastic bucket.
They live the really good life as far as wild Canada geese are concerned, eating all they want, swimming and entertaining, with their own version of synchronized swimming. "They are fun to watch," says Angelia as two of them stick their heads under water with their feet in the air.
Angelia's geese stay close to home and have no interest in those long, tiring, yearly flights from one country to another. She doesn't worry that her geese might fly off one day. "Not a chance. They got it made right here," says Angelia.
The geese live with ducks, a playful dog named Muffin, and chickens that eat their leftover corn. Some people might think of the geese as pets. "They are not enough pets to put your hands on them," says Angelia, who wants her geese to live as normal a life as they can, as any mother hopes for.
Why does she want more geese? "To have more to watch," says Angelia who realized months ago the young geese, called goslings, had virtually no chance of surviving in the wild.
Angelia and her family decided to put them under their protective wings. They raised six and all remain healthy nine months later, but Angelia has a lingering concern. "Can't tell them apart," says Angelia. She doesn't know if she has males, females or some of both.
She wants grand geese and she might get some this spring if they find mates and nest. "You want them to grow up to have their own families," says Angelia, who didn't realize it at the time, but she has a family of security guards. "If the geese don't know you and they are close by, they will not let you out without stopping and staring at you for a little while," says Angelia.
The intimidation often works. But why would someone want wild Canada geese to go along with several ducks, chickens and dogs? "To have something different, something new," says Angelia.
She never promised them a rose garden, but they have one where they sometimes nap. But they don't have to stay in the rose garden or with Angelia and her family. "If they decide to leave, they are free to go anytime, but they'll be back, will always be back. They know where home is," says Angelia.
And know their Mother Goose will gladly welcome them back home.