As the darkness slowly lifted I was slightly suspicious of something moving near to the byre. All was not well but as to what it was I didn’t know. As the sunrise continued I was confronted with one bewildered looking goose in the bottom field. Two problems: he should have been in the top field and he should have had his partner in crime with him. Partner in crime was nowhere to be seen. To get to the bottom field he would have had to fly and as they are domestic geese, they don’t. Why fly when you can waddle is their thinking. A retrieval expedition was planned on my part, not in the hope of getting the missing one back, but to see if I could trace the missing one’s last waddle and do some forensics to see how he met his end.
The search commenced but patchy snow meant it suddenly looked like dead geese everywhere (not something I normally think of when I see patchy snow but I do now). I soon gave up and went into the next problem to solve: how to get the remaining goose back to the sheep so he wasn’t on his own (these are geese that will sleep and eat with the sheep and have been known to change fields with them as well).
This was on my mind as Mini Crofter and I set off down the road on our usual walk. However, our walk soon came to a halt when I rounded a corner to discover said goose two crofts down and alive and well…and refusing to head home. The buggy was adapted as a sheep dog (a sitting one mind you) and between us we finally got the goose moving in the right direction, just very slowly and with many wanderings off the beaten road. My plan was to get the gander through the first possible gate so he would be reunited with his pal. And this is when he wasn’t having it. Out pops the neighbour from his shed upon hearing our honking goose wander by. With the three of us, my AWOL gander was quickly escorted through the gate and was reunited to his relieved friend.
The story doesn’t quite end there though. To get back them back to the top field I needed to open the gate, a gate at which I have the three stooges (a.k.a., three calves that bellow and run for a bucket). Which isn’t normally a problem but I’m herding the geese right towards highly sprung livestock a lot bigger than them.
With the geese within a few meters the gate was opened a crack and the geese saw their window of opportunity. The calves thankfully showed no interest in frolicking through to pastures new; instead, they stood a guard of honour as the two geese walked back with their heads held high.