Around 8:15 this morning, as I finally vacated my bench and headed home to work, what do I find but Mama and Papa Early-Nester Goose and their three goslings, nibbling on worms and bugs on the grass just south of the 12th St. park entrance. Understand, these little fuzzy guys are maybe a month old and were born — all right, hatched — a quarter of a mile away. Apparently, according to an eyewitness, M & P got them out of the water, clambered with them up and over the boulders to the Sanitation Dept. parking lot, marched along the asphalt pathway, crossed the Sanitation truck entrance, continued on the slate walkway, and finally arrived at the grass, where M & P took turns guarding the brood while the other joined the hungry goslings in rooting in the grass. All it would have taken was one jackass dog owner whose dog was off the leash — and, illegal though it is, people do do that — or one jackass cyclist not sticking to the bike path while the march was in progress, and disaster. The little guys can’t fly yet, and as mean as a parent goose can be, they’re not faster than a bike or tougher than a dog. And here’s the thing: before they nested, M & P dined on that patch on grass quite a bit. They’ve seen the dogs and the bikes. You’d think they’d worry. But no. I stood there for twenty minutes with a neighbor. I wanted to see if they were planning to march back, or if they were at least going to make the jump down into the water and swim back. They didn’t show any signs of leaving, though, so I had to go. I sure hope they all made it back okay. But this does help to explain why we’re not up to our necks in geese.
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