A battle with the birds

Published 3:31 am Wednesday, June 26, 2019

“Look, Mike! Those geese are everywhere. I lost count at 40, but I’ll bet 50 is more like it!”

Earlier in the year, when my hubby suggested we should shoo the geese away, I thought that was the worst idea ever. After all, what more beautiful sight welcomes in the springtime than mothers and their babes? And for a while we loved watching the antics of the little ones.

Each day we joyfully noticed another family had joined the gaggle. After a while the number of geese continued to grow and grow until they marched across the lawn leaving landmines like a small army invading our backyard. Now, I’ve begun to think maybe Mike wasn’t altogether wrong in his way of thinking. The geese were absolutely becoming a nuisance, and it was time to take decisive action.

I could hardly believe what was coming from my mouth when I uttered the words, “Mike, why don’t you get the BB gun and try to scare the geese away?”

To his credit, my hubby didn’t gloat with this unusual request; he had no teasing smirk to remind me that he was perhaps a tiny bit correct in thinking we shouldn’t make the birds feel so welcome in our backyard.

He simply rose to his feet and quickly retrieved his trusty Red Rider. The door to the sunroom closed with a quiet click as I watched Mike rather gleefully chase the geese and take aim at the water as they swam away. My hero, the goose hunter sauntered in the backdoor wiping down his side iron-uh-I mean BB gun. He definitely had that look about him, and the swag of his walk spoke volumes. Mike had conquered the elements; in blistering heat he had protected his domain from intruders.

Seriously, my fellow does like to play with guns. I guess play is not the appropriate word since so many people misuse firearms these days. He is always respectful of a gun and very careful to keep himself and others safe, but he likes to shoot targets. He went shooting with a friend the other day and came home as satisfied as I am after a lunch date with the ladies.

Now, I sit looking out at the lake void of geese with longing only to notice that they are just a stones throw away happily eating and leaving lawn decorations for our neighbors. I’m glad they didn’t have their feelings hurt enough to leave the area altogether, and I’m sure they will venture into our yard again. But I think the next time they will go when I clap my hands, and hopefully I will notice before they have made such a big mess.

Wouldn’t you know it? I looked up from my computer to see the backyard full of geese quietly grazing. All of my mighty hunter’s best efforts didn’t deter them for long, so I guess it’s my turn, but I’m going to wear my rubber boots!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.