Discovering the Relevance of Words
Walking down a riverside trail this morning, I saw a group of geese fighting in the water. There were about six of them, and they were really flapping and honking up a storm, chasing and biting one another in a shameless display of goose on goose violence. I stopped and watched for a while, wondering what they could all be fighting about, until the dog barked at me and I had to keep moving. But sound travels far on the water, and I could still hear their honks for most of the remainder of the walk.
Food and sex. That’s what animals fight about. Since it is springtime and all I’ve ever seen geese eat is mud and bread crumbs, I assume they were fighting about sex. For some reason goose sex seems like it would be a noisy and violent affair. It is if you do it right, the goose might say, to the delight of his goose buddies. I was still mentally writing material for this fictional anthropomorphic goose when I noticed that I was passing the birds again on my way back and that the fight had stopped. All six were now standing on a log, munching on mud or bread or something, like they’ve always been best friends. I felt that had some kind of meaning, but it was early in the morning, so I couldn’t be sure.
Then the peace was shattered by the sound of my dog jumping in the water and chasing off the geese. I continued walking and started thinking about breakfast as the ripples dissipated and a few feathers settled on to the surface of the water, the only evidence of the little goose drama I had just witnessed.
Did you see anything noteworthy today?