Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's all about the happy endings

No, not THAT. Mind out of the gutter, people. I don't mean the massage sort of wink*wink*nudge*nudge, I mean the HEA you get with romance. Isn't that what we read the romance for? And mysteries. Don't we read them to see the villian get his/her and for the justice of it all?

It's just like geese. No, really. Geese. I raise African and Pilgrim Geese. While I had two geese sitting on their eggs, tragedy struck. Okay, maybe tragedy is a bit melodramatic, but bear with me here.

We had a snake.

The first inkling of doom was missing eggs from Panini's nest. She started with six. Then there were four. Then there were none. I thought we had a possum or skunk--both notorious egg theives--sneaking into the barn at night.

It didn't matter that her eggs were gone. Panini was devoted. She sat on that empty nest day and night. To make things feel right, she even dragged brushes and small items from the barn into her nest so that she had something to sit on. This girl wanted to be a mommy.

One night, as my eldest son (who shall hereafter be referred to as the Howler Monkey) and I were out feeding. I was dumping grain for the horses when Howler Monkey came running up. "Mom! Mom! Something's wrong with Panini! She's hissing and freaking out in the barn."

Howler Monkey was right. It was too dark to see well, but I sent him for a flashlight. In the dim barn I could just make out my little goose standing in her nest, raising up her body and looking for all the world like a woman holding up her skirts. Her eyes remained trained on something between her legs as she madly hissed, but held her ground. When Howler Monkey returned with the flashlight, I was able to see the problem: a huge black ratsnake.

When I say huge I mean like OMGWTFBBQ snake that ate Manhattan big. Six footer. Gack!

Fortunately I'm a hardy farm girl and not some fainting city miss. Nosirree! I did what any farm girl would do.

I screamed until my husband came outside to rescue me.

Then, I did my Queen of Hearts impersonation (Off with it's head!!!!!!!) but the harm was done. Poor Panini. Nothing could break that girl from sitting on her nest. Day and night. She sat through the snow until the sun broke through, but still she would not be budged. The time came and went from when the eggs would have hatched, but still Panini was faithful.

Sad, huh? And if the story stayed here, it would be a tragedy. Well, at least from the goosey perspective and that's really what we're talking about. Our heroine is sad, sad, sad and in denial.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: I'm a fool with an incubator. Have eggs, will hatch. I had acquired some Pilgrim goose eggs from a breeder and plopped them in the incubator. Three goslings later, we're set for our happy ending, if only things will work out.

Geese are fabulous parents. They mate for life and are devoted to the care and raising of their young. Even the ganders are tender and loving parents. But would Panini accept substitutes, or would she climb back on her nest of brushes and feed scoops?

She was most unhappy when I pulled her off her nest, but the moment she spotted three peeping goslings in a pen, she lost her mind, running and honking. Those were HER babies and she wanted in there with them RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW!

Panini is an awesome mommy and couldn't be prouder of Schnitzel, Sushi, and Truffles if she'd hatched them herself. I'm not sure if she comprehends that she didn't. But the end result is HEA.

Doesn't that change the story? Suppose all you knew was that "Hey, my female goose has some babies." That would make you smile and say "Aw, how cute." Then you'd promptly forget. But when you have the struggle, the conflict, the tragedy, and ultimately the triumph?

Happily Ever After.

So satisfying.

And isn't that what great stories are all about?


  1. Believe it or not, this story brought a tear to my eye. Yes, it's all about the struggle to get to the HEA!

  2. Great story! All we have here are Canada geese and we despise them because they take over EVERYTHING.

    I love the names you give the critters! And the picture is squee-rific! :D

  3. Love it.

    This part totally cracked me up:

    "Fortunately I'm a hardy farm girl and not some fainting city miss. Nosirree! I did what any farm girl would do.

    I screamed until my husband came outside to rescue me."

    And the rest regarding Panini and her eggs was so incredibly sweet.

  4. Even farm girls need someone to kill the spiders and snakes.

    In a week I should have lots of squee-rific pictures. I have ducks eggs due to hatch the second week of May!