Most people who know me know that I am lukewarm to the existence of Canada Geese. Especially when their existence takes to slapping their goofy feet on the roof over my head and relentlessly honking at their buddies down on the ground when the windows are open.

Canada Geese are the drunk frat boys of the bird world.

But here’s the thing.

Canada Geese are monogamous, they find a mate when they’re two years old and stay with that mate their entire lives, which could be as long as 24 years. That’s kind of endearing right? However it doubles whatever honking happens to be around since the critters travel in pairs.

There’s a sad goose in a field by our house. He has no mate, I’m assuming something awful happened to her. He just walks back and forth all day long. Waiting. Waiting for her to come back? Waiting for someone to come rescue him? Geese can and usually do find new mates, but what about the interim? The waiting? How long will he wait? I highly doubt his little bird heart and bird brain can feel the type of pain I’m projecting onto him…but I learned a lesson from that sad goose out in the field.

Anyone can hurt. Even stupid, stupid geese.

And just because I don’t like someone or something doesn’t make their hurt any less hurty.

I hope to see that sad goose with a new lady soon. The thought of our sad goose dying in a field of a broken bird heart is too much for me. However I’m grateful in a strange way to that goose for teaching me just a little bit more about compassion, especially when it comes to those I don’t especially like.


  1. Aww…poor obnoxious goose:(

  2. I’m getting tired of all these not-about-a-new-baby posts, you know.

  3. Damn geese and their stupid lessons on compassion. We dont have geese, but we do have these crazy loud and annoying sand hill cranes.

  4. Poor sad goose! We have a sad goose around here too. Well, I should say HAD. I haven’t seen him in awhile… I hope he found himself a new lady and is happy somewhere!

    Jenn Reply:

    Bah, I left the twitter name blank, don’t know why it tossed in my super old username!

  5. I’m impressed you were able to find such an insightful thought in a goose.

    If I had seen that goose out there, I would’ve assumed he was searching for the perfect place to take a poo. Geese and their poo annoy me to no end. But thanks for the reminder that annoying things may hurt too.

  6. I once saw a goose standing by the side of the road, mourning the mate who had been recently killed by a car.

    Geese normally annoy me, but that scene actually made me teary-eyed.

    Everyone feels pain. Except maybe spiders, who really deserve what’s coming to them when they come into my house. I don’t even care if they have little spider families to get home to.

  7. Awwww…goose are like lobsters! They mate for life! I never knew that.

  8. Aw, this is sad. And sweet.

  9. Thanks for making room in my heart for a goose. I do have to wonder, though, how you know the goose in your field is male…..did you get that close??

    Casey Reply:

    @Missy, It just acts like a dude. A lady would get the hell back from the road considering the circumstances.

  10. I wonder if pigeons are the same? One day I was sitting at a stop light and saw a hurt pigeon land in the middle of the street, trying to fly, but failing. The companion bird kept circling and finally landed on the overpass and sat and watched, helpless. It was so sad to me.

  11. Jessica V. says:

    You are so damn funny! The geese by our home poop everywhere and I am afraid that they will chase me and peck my eyes out. But, now I feel a little differently towards them. I hope I don’t see any lonely ones.

  12. So I was trying to explain my theory that you can love someone even though you don’t have to like that person. It didn’t come across very well. You did it so very much better than I. I’m going to have to use this analogy next time I try to explain my theory (giving you full credit of course).

  13. Oh, Christina, I saw the same thing once. A Canada Goose standing by its dead mate. It broke my heart. I live in Indy, and yes, the geese are everywhere, but it’s our fault. We made habitats that they can’t resist. Personally, I like the geese. I think they’re beautiful and love they way they waddle and honk.

  14. If it lessens the pain of watching the poor sad goose, you should know biologists have recently discovered (through DNA testing) that geese and many other animals though to be monogamous are really only “socially” monogamous. Sexually, the lady birds are alley cats. Maybe he’s sad because she ran off for the weekend with another goose.

  15. Those hormones have really got you by the short ones, eh?

  16. so why is it called “goosing” someone when you pinch their butt?

    That seems contrary to the monogamous nature of the goose.

  17. Poor goose. She’ll come back soon enough.

  18. This is really sweet.

    It’s true that everyone has feelings, whether you like the person/animal or not. I just try to remember that everyone has a mom who loves them, and it brings it into perspective for me. If someone hurts my child, it hurts me. It’s the same for every mother.

    I sure hope that Mr. Goose can find a new love soon.

  19. That was beautiful.

    Thank you.

  20. Amy in StL says:

    Awww, I got to broken bird heart and then I welled up a little with tears…and I am NOT wearing waterproof mascara at work today!

  21. I dislike it that you got me all emotional over a goose. Seriously. I’m blubbery enough as it is.

  22. and really, are you googling why the bird looks sad? How did you figure out all these facts?!

    You need to have that baby already. 🙂

  23. I LOATHE geese. but this is sad. and makes me think of that book, The Fledgling. now I’m hurty.
    stupid goose.

  24. It’s so funny, I’ve had a post in my head I’m planning to write that’s going to be called Canadian Geese. So when I read your title, I got a little teary right away because I had an inkling of where it was heading.
    Still haven’t had the baby yet, huh? Do you need any more nesting/cleaning/cooking to do? Because I know a place just west of Indy that could really use some attention. 🙂

  25. Stupid compassion inducing goose.
    I’m officially sending word to the geese in our pond across the street to head your way…don’t worry, I’m only sending the single ladies.

  26. I am no fan of the geese. We are lousy up here with them (it being Canada and all) and there are so many in the river by my work that they’ll actually block the road. Like a herd of cows, only geese. Unfortunately every now and then they forget they aren’t in a herd and one will get hit. And it breaks my heart every time to see it’s partner sitting by it, for hours, on the side of the road.
    Now if they’d only learn to use a porta-potty.

  27. Poor sad goose… what a great lesson to take from the situation, though.

  28. Poor old goosie. I hope he finds new love soon, then you can have two honkers to annoy you instead of just one.

  29. I remember driving home from work on a fairly busy highway and there was a goose in the median flapping frantically. Because his wife/her husband (who the heck can tell with geese?) had been hit by a car a bit farther down the road. And the sight of that poor, sad goose has always stuck with me.

    And, now that I think about it, has probably led to more anthropomorphizing of animals than is strictly necessary.

  30. I appreciate your truth, honesty, humor & photography. I laugh & cry reading your posts. You’re are a gift. You’re not flawless. But know He who is.

    Every delivery / pregnacy is different (duh) … like stripes on a zebra, fingerprints & DNA.

    Natural birth was a want of mine. Unfortunately, induced with Danijela & she ultimately arrived via C-Section, as staff talked about weekend plans.

    Luka? New amazing doctor & stronger mother. He started pushing into the world 3 weeks early on our driveway. 9cm dialated on arrival & no drugs!

    God knew my weakness & answered my prayers. Luka came so fast & furious ther was time to breakdown. It was the most empowering moment of my life.

  31. Have you ever read “The Snow Goose” by Paul Gallico? It’s a good mom/daughter book (my mom read it to me growing up) and while it’s not about icky Canada geese, your post reminded me of that book – it’s kind of lonely and lovely all at the same time 🙂

  32. Oh, Casey! I so remember being there and just DYING to HOLLLLLDDDD my baby! HEe.

    but man, oh, man, once she’s here and all sweet and new and fresh…mmm.
    SO excited for you! Eeeee!


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