The flock practically honked for joy when I let my geese out for the first time this season.

As soon as the last one left the pen, they struggled and waddled through nearly 2 feet of snow on the back lawn to reach our driveway.

As always in mud season, the driveway is full of soft, mucky, watery mud when the snows begin to melt. And that’s where Finnegan and his buddies wanted to be.

They flapped and honked and bathed and splashed with glee, it seemed, as each entered the mud puddle. For most of the afternoon I let them play outside, but when it was time to return to the pen, they weren’t so happy.

No way could I herd them over the snowbank, around the west end of the house, to the back where their pen, food and water awaited them.

I’d slowly and gently herd two or three, then the other four or five would go in many different directions. This went on for quite some time before my husband decided to give it a try.

He took a different tact. He herded all eight of them into the garage, where they first panicked, wondering where they were and what was going to happen to them. Then, all of sudden, my old gander, Seb, saw the open back door and the pen’s gate just below the steps. He led all seven down the steps and into the pen.

They were satisfied with fresh water, cracked corn and celery stalks, one of their favorite snacks.

Finny and sweet Plum Blossom realize that I am the source of all things good. Both rush up to me whenever I enter the pen with a fistful of something green. Plum Blossom has really gotten the message. Even when I don’t have a wad of greens in my hands, she comes up to me and demands some. She knows I’ll come through.

Plum Blossom tried very hard last year to produce a clutch of goslings. She sat and sat and sat and because she hadn’t built her nest in the coop, she withstood heavy rains and sometimes cold temperatures protecting her eggs with her beautiful white wings. Unfortunately, none of the eggs hatched, but I have great hopes for this year.

She’s 2 years old and pretty savvy about being a mother goose. She and Dufey have each built nests in the coop, and Dufey has laid a couple of eggs. Sadly, she laid them too early and they both froze and split.

We built a partition in the coop so two can have some privacy.

So spring has come, the mud is ankle deep, and the geese are all excited about the new season. Soon they will graze on green grass … and if I don’t watch them carefully, greens in the garden, too.

Finny comes up to me more often now than throughout the winter and lets me pet his beautiful, soft feathers. He looks me in the eye and talks, and I talk back. Somehow, I think we understand each other.

Now, I’m in hopes that he and Plum Blossom will get together to produce some lovely gray and white goslings.

Eileen Adams has been raising pet geese for nearly a decade. They are all very special pets. She may be reached at [email protected]


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