Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ode to Cheryl....

Monday night, I was walking out to the barn to gather eggs. It was oddly quiet on the walk. Generally, my two Chinese white geese, Cheryl  and Dodi, greet me loudly. I saw one of them with the ducks. That sent out the message that something was wrong. They're never more than a few feet away from each other. I did a quick scan. I saw white on the other side of the pond. The white wasn't moving. I dropped the egg basket and ran to whomever it was in the pond. I got there and it was Cheryl. She was dead. I pulled her out of the water and saw blood on her head. I looked closer and saw some large puncture marks. It was horrible. I checked out Dodi and he had some puncture wounds as well, but he seems to be doing okay other than being very traumatized. I'm pretty sure it was dogs who did this. I'm pretty sure a coyote would have taken them to eat and the puncture wounds were too large for any of the other typical predators around here.

I had raised Dodi and Cheryl(my nephew named them) from goslings along with a third. I had to put the third one down when it developed a horrible neurological condition. That strengthened my connection with the other two. I always wondered why people kept geese because they're often quite mean as the get older. These geese were my best farm friends. They would jump up in my lap and give me goose hugs and kisses. I'd give them dandelions and we'd talk about our days.
Day I brought the little fuzzballs home.

They always made me this happy!

As they got older, they did get mean to most other people. They pretty much were only nice to my step-dad and me. If the target of their aggression would stand their ground, the geese would usually back off. Their aggression wasn't limited to humans and included dogs and goats and most other birds. None of that mattered a whit to me. I still loved them. They would always greet me when I came home from work or any time I walked outside. Tonight, it was very, very quiet when I got home.
This was when they still liked Chad

Here's the awkward stage between fuzz and feathers

Cheryl before she got her bump on her bill

He doesn't turn his back on them any more. There's Chipmunk who we also lost last year.
Cheryl sometimes didn't mind the paparazzi

But when she did....

Well, she let you know!

Here's a beautiful picture of them taken by our good friend  Cherie Helman
Cheryl, I am a better person for having know you and will miss you more than you could ever imagine. Goodbye, friend...


  1. oh now! what a loss! what a horrible find. sorry, friend. i absolutely love our geese - even OD.

  2. Sorry to hear about your geese. We are currently trying to get a small pond going for our ducks and I want a couple of geese. I hear they are the best at guarding the place.