Jessie is a beautiful goose. She’s dark gray with white tummy feathers. She’s friendly, soft and intelligent, and she came with two ducks.
With Finny, my wonderfully sweet, dappled gray goose about to turn 9 months old, I figured it was time to find him a mate.
My flock of seven other white or gray geese won’t accept him because I rescued him after his mother tossed him out of her nest last spring. Ever since then, he has been my goose. He thinks I'm his mother.
But now, almost grown at nearly 20 pounds, I thought it was time for a mate. Plus, he’s been pretty much alone except for me, and sometimes my husband, who he has sort of accepted into his very own flock. He slept each night in the garage and now, he has Jessie to join him.
Picking up Jessie from a home in Greene was a funny and educational experience. She is very tame. My husband, who is pretty much of an expert in how to handle animals, brought along a large plastic bag, clipped a corner of it, and we slipped her in, head positioned outside the bag.
We brought along two cat carriers because Jessie’s former owner said the two young mixed Swedish blue and Mallard ducks, whom I’ve named Missy and Sissy, were very attached to her, and I said I’d take them, too.
Into the cat carriers they went, with each duck facing Jessie so they’d feel more comfortable – and they were. Hardly a quack or honk was heard during the hourlong trip home.
But once we got here and I let Jessie, Missy and Sissy loose, I wasn’t sure how Finny would take it. The first few days were uncertain, with Jessie wondering what had happened to her old home, and Finny just wondering what the heck this was all about. I wasn’t sure whether they would all get along, but after a couple of weeks they tentatively nudged each other.
The four of them would sit together on a snowbank, looking oh so cute. Such a family!
Although the ducks are still very much attached to Jessie, and Jessie to them, the ducks eventually flew into the goose pen and made it their new home. But every day, Jessie and Finny walk along the outside of the pen, with the two ducks walking along beside them inside the pen.
Finny has tried mating a few times, but so far, as much as I could see, he hasn’t succeeded. And another problem has cropped up – Finny’s brother, Shamus, who was born in the goose pen and accepted by his mother, has begun making the moves on Jessie and she hasn’t exactly rejected them.
Sometimes when I watch all the geese and ducks going along with their day, I’ll see Jessie next to the goose pen and Shamus gently pecking at her through the wire. In back of her, Finny will be gently pecking on her back end.
War will soon break out, I think, when I let all the geese and ducks out to graze in the spring. It has already started.
One day, I saw Finny stretching his long, beautiful neck between the wires and into the pen. Shamus immediately latched onto his neck and major screaming and honking from both geese started. I reached over to separate them and got the brunt of both their rage.
So when grazing time begins, I’ll have to make sure that I post myself between Finny and Shamus, and let Jessie decide who she wants.
I sure hope it’s Finny. Shamus has several other female geese to choose from, but then, I’m not Jessie. She knows what she wants.