Friday, February 13, 2009

Canada Geese and Valentine's Day

girl with Canada geese
A girl feeds Canada geese.
Today the Complete and Total Loser stood in a supermarket parking lot listening to Canada geese honking overhead in the slate-gray winter sky. The birds fought strong headwinds, remnants of a fierce storm that hit much of the country earlier in the week.
In his youth more geese migrated. Now they settle in cities where people feed them bread and where they defecate on golf courses and in parks. As a boy the young Loser would play outside on autumn days, throwing stones, searching for the perfect stick, peering under rocks and fallen wood at bizarre colonies of pale, living things.
Once, at dusk, several minutes after a flock of geese passed, he saw a lone goose flying low, honking wheezily as it tried to catch up. He found this humorous. It was, he assumed, one that had taken a little too long at the last food source, perhaps diving for a morsel of food. Decades would pass, aging him, before he realized that a more likely reason was that the goose was old, weakened by time, destined to never rejoin its flock but roost alone where it would be prey to foxes and feral cats, subject to nature's ruthlessness, abandoned by a group that likely included its own descendants.

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