Monday, July 12, 2010
WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER
I LOVE geese, I always did, I like their plumpness and roundness, they are not elegant like swans, but they are beautiful and lovely. When I was a child, my paternal grandparents who lived in a small farming village, had a herd of white geese, maybe twenty or so, and I remember being afraid of the big gander who was quite vicious. He would stand erect and make threatening, hissing sounds if he felt disturbed, he even would try to bite. They lived at night in a fenced in little grass patch near the house. In the morning they were fed and then let out and together with the geese of the neighbors they went down to the creek with loud chattering, and returned in the evening, all on their own. So far for the common opinion that geese are stupid...
Geese are wonderful animals. Their social life resembles that of human beings very much. The gander falls in love and then courts the goose very intensively, with much patience and with great vigor and stamina. He shows off and brags with his physical potency. If there is another suitor interested in the same lady, they will fight over her, using their beaks and their powerful wings to attack each other. After SHE makes her choice and agrees to the winner, they both will announce this with loud triumphant cries. They 'marry' and if nothing dramatic comes in between them, they will stay together for a life time. They are very determined and caring in raising their offspring together. It takes about a month to hatch for the goslings from the eggs. The mother keeps them warm and after some days she leads them out of the nest - and we all have seen that lovely picture of goslings following their mother in a straight line down to the lake - they will know how to swim immediately. Geese reach maturity at two years of age but usually breed only in their third year.
So why did I choose to write a small blog post about geese? Oh, that is because my husband came home on Friday from an outing of photo shooting at the Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv with pictures of pretty geese!