My dad rented a pasture a few miles from our farm and there was a family that lived on that property. They were the poorest family I knew. Even though we were only a few miles apart, we went to different schools so I only knew them from riding the bus to swimming lessons a few weeks a summer. Sometimes we would see them as we rounded up cattle and we would share a hello, but I was a bit nervous and shy as a younger kid (ok, I still am–which some people perceive as snobbery–and they’re wrong) but that was about as far as our conversations would go.
They had kids that ranged from about my age to toddlers. One toddler, in particular, was a cute little brown-haired boy who tended to walk around naked. It was out in the country, so who really cared, right?
If I remember correctly, we had grown tired of cleaning up the goose shit from our sidewalk between the house and the wash house, so we gave the ones who hadn’t been eaten by coyotes to this family. They were fairly wild as we didn’t feed them so they learned to fend for themselves. And they got mean in the time that we had them. We learned to stay in pairs and never be out in the open. Have you ever been bitten by a goose? It’s probably worse than you would initially think.
I have to relate the rest of this story, as told to us by my dad…
Dad was talking to the father of the family about weather, oilmen who checked the wells, and other nonsensical b.s. while their kids roamed around, doing their thing. All of a sudden, my dad heard the little brown-haired toddler scream and then run for the trailer house.
I don’t know the exact words my dad said, but I’m sure he jokingly asked something like, “What in the hell is goin’ on?”
His dad calmly explained the situation, without any emotion attached. Apparently when little boys run around naked with geese running around nearby, someone has to pay the consequences. There seems to be some similarities between edible geese cuisine and certain body parts that a little boy really should keep under cover.
Made you cringe a little, didn’t I?