Snow Geese (26 weeks to go…)

by Max Akroyd

“Try again. Fail again. Fail better. “

Samuel Beckett

Last night I lost my geese. I heard nothing of what was going on outside because the house was insulated from external sound by a thick topping of snow, the same snow which had drifted over the geese’s enclosure and turned them loose into the world. My nocturnal ear could only pick up the amplified murmurings of the sleeping kids – nothing of the anserine chaos outside.

It’s possible the goose family will emerge again tomorrow from out of the miles hedgerow which I scoured all day, but I doubt it. I found one of the ganders on a flat ribbon of snow that used to be the lane, tattered and exhausted, and l led him into the safety of the hangar to recuperate. Thus a bit of the genetic material my flock represented has been preserved. Because, once the usual stages of anger, blame and a bit of despair had been got out of the way, I’m left with a feeling of loss concerning my goose dynasty. The prospect of creating three new families out of one and a brilliant Christmas dinner has been lost for this year.

I postponed bringing them off the field last week because I wanted to prepare their new winter quarters in the hangar first. Now I have a new enclosure, only one goose and a renewed determination to do things just right next time.