Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Honk! If you're single.

My office in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. overlooks a medium-sized pond that boasts a resident goose population of about 25 cantankerous birds. They are a somewhat raucus bunch, never quiet for very long, and always adding a less than pleasant background noise to my conference calls and meetings. I can't tell you how many times the person on the other end of the line has asked "Is that noise real?" If they only knew how real it is.

They are there all year long, and never move very far. Maybe they will fly to a nearby field for a midday snack of alfalfa or grass, but they never fail to return, usually as I am settling in for an afternoon of hard work. But with Spring right around the corner, the geese have reminded me that this is the time of year for renewal and fresh starts; yes, thats right, its mating season in the goose world.

They have never been louder. At lunch I will often take a walk around the pond for a breath of fresh air, and the geese make going into the office with its ringing phones and beeping faxes seem like a great alternative. They are paired off, and the males spend the better part of the day with their heads down chasing the females around the pond. The females are collectively playing hard to get, all of them honking in displeasure at the males' advances. I think to myself, "Keep at it fellas, they'll give in." And given nature, I am sure they will.

But over in the corner of the pond there is a lone goose, who is swimming around a drain culvert that sticks up about a foot out of the water. Its about 15 inches round, and is a rusted-brown color that vaguely (and let me be very clear: VAGUELY) resembles a goose. The goose swims around the culvert, honks, and continues to swim. The cycle goes on for hours. I leave for the day, and the single goose is still trying to convince the culvert that he's the one. But as you can presume, the culvert doesn't respond to the goose's advances. The goose is getting the cold shoulder, and he knows it, and it doesn't please him.

But I don't feel bad for the goose, because once his hormones calm down, he will forget about the culvert that wouldn't put out, and will move on with his life. He'll swim around the pond for another 12 months, free of worrying about keeping up a nest, or sitting on eggs, or waddling around with 6 or 7 goslings in tow. No, I don't feel sorry for the goose at all.


Anonymous said...

Hey, be thankful you have a window, with geese outside making noise, it could be the side of a brick building blocking your view. Or no window at all, just 4 walls to stare at and keep you company. With regards to the mating season for geese, get back to work.

Anonymous said...