Monday, May 3, 2010

Down to One...

I went to work bright and early this morning and headed right into the courtyard of the museum to check on the four remaining baby geese. Unfortunately, the first thing I saw was a dead baby goose. I can't tell you how that made me feel. The babies were fine the night before! They had plenty of food and water, and it was a warm night. After looking around, I found another dead baby. The mama and daddy geese were settled down in a flower bed with a live baby between them, but I looked everywhere and couldn't find the last baby, dead or alive. I couldn't believe we went from 5 babies down to 1 baby in 24 hours. How is that possible? I was shocked.

The first thing to do, of course, was to sit down and have a good cry, and then I buried the dead babies. I marked the graves with pieces of glass cullet so that no one accidentally digs them up when putting in spring flowers.

After that, it was time for another good cry, and then something had to be done. I figured the remaining baby would have as good a chance, if not better, for survival in his natural habitat as opposed to staying another day in the courtyard-of-death. The only problem with that is that the only way out of the courtyard into the outside world is through the museum. The shortest distance is around 75 feet through the museum's lobby.

At this point I realized I needed help, so called the administration building for reinforcements. Jimmy, Steph and Tara (the only other people at work that early) came to the rescue. After much discussion, we decided we had to catch the remaining baby and hope the mama and daddy would either fly over the wall or follow us through the museum to an outside door.

No problem, as Canada Geese are notoriously docile creatures, right? WRONG! They can be mean SOBs, especially when they are threatened. Well, since no one else volunteered, and I like to think I have developed a rapport with the geese over the past few weeks of checking on them daily on our roof, it was up to me to catch the baby. There was much hissing and flapping of wings, but it was surprisingly easy to corner the baby and pick him up.

At this point, I had the presence of mind to ask Steph or Tara to take some photos. Here I am holding the baby, trying to coax the mama and daddy into the museum. That's Jimmy holding the door. Well, he's either holding the door or hiding behind it, I'm not sure which.

Mama and daddy were not about to go peacefully into the museum...... so I handed the baby over to Jimmy after much kissing and telling him what a good boy he is. The baby goose, that is, not Jimmy.

Jimmy headed through the museum, and I shooed the mama and daddy in. At one point I was asking myself if this was really such a good idea. I mean, those geese could have taken off flying all over the museum, crashing into all kinds of things. Fortunately, they just followed Jimmy and the baby and the sounds of his peeping. Again, the baby goose, not Jimmy. :-)

I know what some of you are thinking, and yes, the geese did indeed poo on the carpet. Big deal. Goose poo is good for the carpet, right? Anyway, the geese made it out the front door and were reunited with their baby out in the big (bad) world. I followed them with my camera to make sure the baby was doing OK. I knew they would head toward the lake.

It was a long walk for the baby....
...a very long walk...
...in which the baby needed several rest stops...
...but they eventually made it to the lake.

The sweet little baby never hesitated - he just walked right into the lake and started swimming.

Goodbye baby goose.
Come back and visit some time.

4 comments:

Donna Lee said...

I passed your website along to my brother b/c he has small children and I thought the eco fair sounded good. Coincidentally, he and my sil are chaperoning a trip this week to the museum with their daughter's class. Look for the Haddonfield Friends' School group.

Channon said...

Booooo! I hope that's a happy ending. Good for you and your baby goose rescue team!

Nichole said...

D, you are simply awesome. :) I'm so sad to hear it got down to only 1 baby, but girl... you rock!

Sue said...

How sad that there was only one baby left. Good for you and the rescue team. I had to laugh at the thought of those geese going thru the museum. It could have been a disaster, but only a little goose poo, no big deal.