Raising Ducklings and Goslings


raising ducks and geese

Taking a (Living) Christmas Goose to School


I always brought an animal to my daughter's school around the holidays. Thanksgiving - I brought that strutting spectacle of a turkey named Royal. Easter - I hopped over with my over-sized Easter bunny named Buttercup. Christmas - well I didn't have a reindeer. Hum, but I did have a goose, a fluffy white Christmas goose. She would certainly bring a smile to those young faces, and to mine. So, I gathered up my "Christmas goose" named Joon and headed to school.

Our first stop was the principal's office. Mrs. Glad, our normally friendly principal, wouldn't touch my goose - too many bad memories of goose attacks from her younger days. So, I slowly shuffled down the covered walkway to the lunch tables where the children were gathered for treats and celebrations. Joon dutifully followed behind me like a bridesmaid marching down the aisle in her fancy flowing gown. She was a bright white Sebastopol goose - the only breed with long curly feathers that twist every which way. In some ways she resembled an over-sized pincushion with hundreds of little feather boas stuck to her plump little body.

When we reached the children, they were amazed to see a goose in their midst. The teachers warned the kids not to give the goose any food, but being kids, they quickly ignored it. Boys and girls stuck out their hands and offered Joon cookies and popcorn, but she politely declined. They crowded around to pet her, and she calmly let every child stroke and touch her silky feathers. Now the adults were coming close, too, commenting on her impeccable manners. One of the parents fell so in love with the elegant goose that she begged me for the name of the farm where I'd gotten her.

After the school bell rang, I guided Joon back down the walkway, slowly making our way back toward the car. Dozens of children who hadn't seen her yet came close for a pet. The principal paused and looked as child after child walked right up and petted the goose like it was a well-mannered dog. Then a few of the older girls wandered by. Pointing to Joon, one cried, "Oh how pretty! I want to have a dress like that!"

Finally, the principal couldn't stand it. She handed one of those picture-taking cell phones to an older girl standing nearby. "You have to take my picture. Nobody's going to believe this."

I handed Joon to her, and the goose and the principal posed for the shot. Then Mrs. Glad looked at Joon and across to me. "I've never seen a goose that looks like this or behaves so well. How come your birds aren't like any I've ever met?"

I smiled and shrugged my shoulders. Joon and I started making our way toward the car again. Just as I paused to say farewell to the superintendent, who was waving goodbye to the kids as he stood in front of the school, I spotted a mom driving out of the parking lot, and remembered I had a PTA check for her in my car.

"Hold her for a minute," I blurted as I thrust my goose into the Superintendent Braun's arms. "I need to get something from my car." The astonished man had no time to argue.

As I ran off to the parking lot, I heard him call to me, "Coleen, Coleen you're coming back, aren't you?"

A few minutes later I returned. "I was sure you were going to leave me holding the goose," he teased.

"She likes you. She thinks you're Father Goose." I teased back.

Mr. Braun tried his best not to laugh too hard as he waved goodbye to parents and children with one hand, while holding a fluffy white Christmas goose in the other.

From that day forward, I would often show up at school with goose in tow to pick up my daughter, Sammy. Some moms brought the family dog. I brought the family goose. We would sit at the picnic table with other parents waiting for our kids and chat about everything moms and dads chat about. The dogs, an occasional cat, and my goose listened politely as we waited for the bell signaling the end of the school day. Those were special times, quiet times, destined all too soon to fade away and become just fond memories.

This is an excerpt from Coleen Hefley's book "Royal and Snuggles - a True Turkey Tale" which can be purchased online at Lulu.com

My Three Pet Ducks Follow Me Everywhere
Foster Goose Parents Do A Wonderful Job
Turkey Love
Calla the Blind Duck
Boris Makes a Big Mistake!
How I Learned to Talk With My Geese
Boris Rules
Lost Duck - Found!
Our Helpful Geese
My Gander Acted Like Lassie!
Taking a (Living) Christmas Goose to School
My Helpful But Self-Centered Gracie
What Is Going On Inside Your Goose's Head?
My Teenager (Acting) Mallards
Those Hickies Are From Your Geese? Sure...
My Gracious Geese Love Everything I Give Them
Pink Inflatable Flamingo 1 - Godzilla Gander 0
Peanut Travels 12 Miles in the Talons of a Hawk
Geese and French Fries
I Built an Incubator and Didn't Even Know It... And It Worked Great!
The Life and Love of Zyrus
How to Train Your Ganders Not to Be Aggressive
My Geese Protecting Me From The Neighbor's Dog
Little White Duck - A Poem
I Love My White Chinese
My Chinese Geese and Their Personalities
Bowing to the King Gander And What It Gets You
My Observations in Handling Geese
Recommended Books for Geese
Sadie
Welsh Harlequin Report
Showing Waterfowl at the Fair
I Love These Baby Geese!
Sonny the Goose vs. Beefcake the Steer
Preventing Nipping, Controlling Noisy Greetings in Geese
Plastic Pal
Handling Aggressive Ganders
Shelter Needs for Geese
Consoling Geese
Talking to Her Geese
Rabbit sitting on Eggs?
Dog and Goose Pals
One Versus Two or More Geese
Don't Get Me Wrong, I Love My Little Flock of 10 Geese, But
Babies Scared by First Stormy Night
Gus Doing the Zoomies
Her Goose Breaking up Fighting Roosters
Advice on a Goose as a House Pet
Ducks Better Than Chickens Any Day
Those Darn Geese!
Geese Trying to Run the Duck's Show
Ducks are Great!
Ducks Easiest to Raise Poultry
How Her Ducks and Geese Co-exist
Mixing Geese and Ducks for Safety
Excellent Advice Prior to an Evacuation
How to Thwart an Aggressive Duck
African Goose Gander Adopts Ducklings
Wild Waddles
Rose the Wonderful Mother
Ducks In School
Birthday Present
Adoptive Parents
We Have Eggs!
Socrates and Plato
Sisqo The Duck
Ducks In The City
One Happy Duck
Raising an Easter Duckling In Ohio
Our Weeder Geese
Success Story
Pong, The Magnificent Pekin
Mr Goose

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