Of Canadian Geese & Character

The truth is, I don’t particularly like Canadian geese.

They are greedy and grubby. They leave their finely scented excrement everywhere. They hiss if they think you’re trespassing on their turf. They have commandeered parks, divided communities, and are second only to turkey vultures in their ability to fell aircraft.

So when a gaggle of these charmers strode leisurely across a busy city street, one goose stopping to scratch an itch and another to look casually around like a tourist just off the cruise ship, I didn’t hope that they would be hit, only that they would be spooked into deigning to allow we mere mortals to borrow space from them.

That didn’t happen. And 45 minutes later, the gaggle had crossed and gotten to work dropping their feces and feathers on that side of the street.

I watched these honkers as they unapologetically took up space, not ceding it, even to machines 39 times as big and powerful as they are. I suppose that makes them courageous. And there’s the fact that in a domestic environment, they will not be domesticated. Which is commendable. Along with their moxie. And their sense of rightful ownership; they don’t question that they belong wherever they are. If we think otherwise, that’s our problem, not theirs.

The geese had taken up residency on the far side of the street. I could already smell their excrement.

I don’t like you, I thought. But you’re not a bad teacher of character.

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