Parenting

Geese are evil and other bird(brained) musings

The newest Cupid’s Coffeeshop story, Lucky Latte, is available now! I hope you’ll love Grayson and Claire’s story.

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Since spring finally sprung here in the DC area, Fox, The Pilot, and I have been taking many walks around our neighborhood after dinner. Sometimes, these are restful and I’m free to snap photos. Other times we’re chasing Fox on his scooter like we’re trying to outrun zombies. It’s usually a combination of both, actually.

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One of my favorite things, other than the terrific weather, is that The Pilot and I get a chance to have a conversation on these walks. Like any long-married dual-career couple with a school-aged child, conversation more in-depth than “Did you pick up the milk?” and “What time is Cub Scouts?” can be rare.

So, I thought you all could accompany us on our walk and listen in. You’ll probably want to nominate The Pilot for sainthood after you hear this but…here goes.

Wait–first, before you read this, you have to understand my issue with geese. You know how in Gilmore Girls Jess has a small issue with swans? Well, I have the same issue with geese. Vicious animals. There are actually memes for evil geese! I am not alone!

Jess Swans

My issue stems from this story. Last spring, we took Fox to a local farm to enjoy the spring weather and so I could snap some photos with my expensive DSLR camera that gets used about as often as my wedding china. Anyway, The Pilot, Fox and I were walking by the ornamental lake when suddenly there’s a vicious hiss from next to the path. And a sleek black head rises slowly from the mud.

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Now, I am deathly afraid of snakes. If you’ve ever seen a goose raise their head, it looks not unlike a cobra rearing, especially when seen from the corner of one’s eye on a dimly lit forest path. Yes, I am intellectually aware that cobras are not native to the greater Washington, DC area but in the split second I saw the cobra/goose, I was too panicked to remember all the bio lessons I skipped/slept through/read a novel through over the years. So I screeched and grabbed Fox in a death grip. And apparently, according to The Pilot, I screamed, “I will throw my camera at you!” to the goose/cobra.

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I don’t actually remember threatening the goose/cobra with expensive photographic equipment because panic had set in and I was convinced Fox and I were going to die. The Pilot was on the opposite side of the path so I figured he’d survive to tell the tale. The poor goose was just protecting her nest. We had mutual, common goals. She was protecting her eggs and I was protecting my chick. Child. Whatever. Anyway, since then, I’ve not been on the best terms with geese and The Pilot hasn’t missed a chance to tease me about it. My antipathy toward geese is especially unfortunate as they love nothing more than to settle in the swampland near DC and hiss at me.

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Okay, and the second thing you have to understand is that I went shopping with my BFF last weekend. And we went to Pier1 and I may or may not have spent a mortgage payment. (Side note to The Pilot: YES! We do need those carrot napkins. AND the bunny ones too!) Anyway, I purchased this bluebird painting to display in my front hall. It’s springy right?

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And it’s a bluebird which I like because bluebirds mean happiness. And I was shopping with my BFF, which I only get to do about once a month or so when our schedules align. And everyone knows you have to grab things when you see them at Pier1 or they’ll be gone. And my BFF had a coupon. So, clearly, the stars aligned and I had to buy this painting. It’s science, ya’ll.  It’s now in my front hall where my mother saw it, which is where my story starts.

Oh, wait! Later in this story, I’ll mention that I collect rooster stuff. But that’s not because they are birds. That’s because, when my mother read my first novel, Forever a Bridesmaid, she had a pearl-clutching fit of the vapors over the hero’s use of the “c” word that rhymes with lock during the first love scene. I try to use it in ordinary conversation with her as often as I can: “Cockamamie, Coq a Vin, Cock-a-doodle-do!” Also friends and family (other than my mother) give me housewares, mugs, and magnets with roosters which never fail to make me laugh. So I collect cocks. I mean roosters!

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And last, my mother, sister, and The Pilot are all wonderful present givers and like to coordinate presents for me because otherwise I’ll just buy it for myself! So, here we go.

Me (to The Pilot): I love my mother, really, but if she tells you I want more bird art for the house or anything with birds on it, don’t get it as a gift. I’m not a bird person. I don’t like birds.

The Pilot: But you just bought that bluebird in the cherry blossoms on Saturday (NOTE: I think it’s actually a dogwood branch but clearly The Pilot and I are not up on our flora and fauna trivia).

Me: Well, I like bluebirds. Not geese.

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By this point in our walk, we’re by the lake in our neighborhood, and the geese, sensing my presence armed with camera equipment, have begun making their way toward me. It’s like cats and horses. They sense the dislike. The Pilot claims this is because everyone in the neighborhood feeds them so they flock whenever they see humans. But I know they’ve got me on their little geese network and are plotting my imminent demise.

The Pilot: Okay. Got it. No bird presents.

Me: Well, see, I like bluebirds. Because they are a symbol of happiness. So I like the symbolism. This is because I was an English lit major and am trained in symbolism. It’s like pineapple.

The Pilot (probably not listening because Fox had taken off on his scooter and we’d just corralled him back onto the path, away from the evil geese and their duck henchmen): Do birds like pineapple?

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See? I’m not the only person with geese issues.

Me: It’s a symbol! The pineapple was a symbol of welcome in colonial times. Just like the bluebird is a symbol of happiness. But I don’t like birds. Wait! I like robins. Sign of spring.

The Pilot: And you decorated the house with chicks. (NOTE: Not live chicks. Just Easter decorations but I can see how this would be confusing for The Pilot).

Me: That’s for Easter. Oh wait, I like owls too. And I collect roosters now. But that’s my mother’s fault. Maybe I do like birds! I’m actually a bird person! {NOTE: Stopping on the path for this road to Damascus moment was a mistake as it gave the geese a non-moving target}

DuckHenchman

The Pilot (Somewhat muffled as he’s now pulling Fox’s scooter out of a bush again): To Kill a Mockingbird is one of your favorite novels.

Me: That’s a book bird. Doesn’t count. Also, not really about birds. It’s about…

But I didn’t get to tell The Pilot what To Kill A Mockingbird is really about because no less than four geese charged the path then and hissed at me. I fled and now can’t go walk near the lake anymore because they are out to get me.

Maybe I really hate birds…

Evil Goose