Two little fluff balls running on feet that are way too big for their size, hurry to keep up with Sal, Seb and Sam.

Finallee and Bout Time arrived on June 24 and June 25.

The mother geese, Sal and Sue, and father geese, Sam and Seb, had been really quiet for several days as they all clustered in the coop. None wanted to go out and graze on the lawn when I opened the gate. They didn’t come out to eat or drink water, either. And they were really, really quiet. I wondered what was going on and didn’t dare believe that finally, my geese would actually hatch some of the dozens of eggs the two females had laid during the past three months.

I sneaked out to the coop and took a quick look inside, all the while being hissed at by all four geese. And there it was — a fluffy little gray and yellow head peeking up between Sal and Sue, who have shared sitting duties for several weeks. The two dads were on guard inside the back wall and warned me in no uncertain terms that I’d better leave, and quick!

For four years, my hopes have been dashed as eggs were laid, sat on, and finally, rolled out of the nest by the females because they knew the eggs were dead.

I had about given up hope, since June is really late for hatchlings. The wild Canada geese who often honk as they fly overhead, catching the attention of their penned up cousins, have hatched dozens of little ones. I was beginning to think that my domestic geese had forgotten how to reproduce.

But then, Finallee wobbled out of the coop late Saturday, and Bout Time, late Sunday. Maybe there will be siblings since Sal and Sue, sisters who are grey Toulouse geese, are still taking turns sitting on the remaining eggs. But even if there isn’t, I’m satisfied.

Taking care of little ones is a difficult task, whether it’s human babies or goslings. Finallee and Bout Time are into exploring everything is sight, and eating anything and everything they see, whether the moms and dads eat it or not. When they try to get into one of the water containers, they often fall backwards, tumbling end over end. But they’re OK. They finally made it into the smallest water dish and swam in delight.

After poking and pecking at everything for an hour or so, the parents lead them back to the coop so the babes, and adult geese can take naps.

When one wanders under the pen and out into the world, Sal or Sue will give a small honk and back in they come. I’ve tried to block these little openings, but there are far too many.

The adult geese are also without their pool for splashing around in. If by chance one of the little ones should get in, he or she would never get out and would likely drown.

In just a few days, they have doubled in size and the peeps have changed to whistles. I wonder what color and feather texture they will have. Right now, they have tiny, bright yellow wings which they flap furiously when they run, grey crowns, and gray and yellow bodies. The moms are grey and the dads are white Sebastipols which cannot fly. The moms can if I don’t clip their wings.

I’m thrilled to be a “Grandmother Goose.” The only downside is distraction from everything else in my life. Every day I spend far too much time watching them and marveling at their antics, cuteness and the fact that they are actually there.

I guess the lesson is persistence, or maybe the geese are finally mature enough to sit, or maybe it was because I removed a newly laid egg each day after eight had been laid, leaving no more than either Sal or Sue could cover securely.

Whatever the reason, we have a family, communal though it may be, and more growing creatures. In a few weeks, they’ll venture out and I’ll have to protect my garden from six geese, rather than the four I’ve had to keep close watch on every garden season. But that’s OK.

What a joy!


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.