Ok, so here’s the thing.  When Stalkermom CK turned up with a little duckling in her big orange truck just over a week ago, (check out her blog to find out why that’s funny), the first thing we did was spend half an hour squeaking and snuggling it and exclaiming over how cute it was.  Then we went online to try and find out what kind of duck it was, what it might eat, and how old it might be.  Because we hadn’t done the “duck thing” before, you know.

Well, after not very long looking at pictures, it seemed to me that what Phil looked like was not a duck, but a goose.  A Canada goose.  This would make a great deal more sense, coming from The Ed’s farm (even if it was in the shop) because although we don’t think we’ve ever seen a duck over there, there are geese all over the bloody place.  The house there is on a little cliff over the lake, and there is a narrow stretch of beach running below the cliff with very few points of human access (one of which is at The Ed’s) so the geese find it a great place to nest.

That’s why I called the wildlife people, because raising an orphaned duck for the pond is one thing, but raising a protected, supposedly migratory (although fewer and fewer of them seem to be leaving nowadays) goose seemed like it might be quite another.   There are a few places around here that provide homes for the geese, or stopping points on their migratory routes, because most people think of them as an annoyance (loud and poopy) but you aren’t allowed to shoot at them.

Well, I called, and described Phil, and the lady I was speaking to said “oh no honey, it’s ok, that is a duck.  Definitely a duck.”  (She wasn’t actually that patronizing, she was very nice and informative, but she did assure me that Phil was a duck.)

A week and a half later, and folks, Phil is Not A Duck.  Phil is so very much a goose.  He’s still cute, he’s still smart, he’s still brave, but he’s a gosling.  So now we have to figure out what in the long term we’re going to do with the little guy.  Geese stay with their families for one year, then typically go off and form their own little adolescent flocks and start looking for dates, or hanging out in front of drugstores, or whatever it is teenage geese get into.  They are used to having two parents, and often few siblings, which explains why Phil is perfectly content to accept Raven and I both as “mommy” and “daddy”.  So possibly he is going to want to stay with us for a year – but we aren’t going to fly off to Minnesota or wherever geese go in the winter, so if he stays here he won’t get the migratory thing going.

Personally, I don’t much care if he just wants to hang out here, as long as he’s not freaking out the hens – but I want him to be happy.  So right now we’re thinking that as soon as he’s old enough this summer, we’re going to try taking him over to play on the beach where he will see other geese, and maybe get the idea in his head that he’d like to be one of those someday.  That way, even if he does stay here, next spring when the geese return he might decide to go his own way and join a flock – and since they don’t all migrate, maybe he won’t even be the only goose that hasn’t got great stories of the parties they attended all winter down in the Warm Places.

Meantime, Phil and Velcro are finding shared interests.

Sometimes he chews on her ears, though.

Spring is still being nifty.

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