Raising Lucky

It’s one of those wonderfully strange days when it rains while the sun is shining. The sun warms my face, my outstretched legs, while the rain cools my head and shoulders. It feels tropical, and for a moment, I close my eyes and imagine I’m on the beach in Maui…

The peeping brings me back.

Beside me, in the grass, is Lucky the gosling, yanking enthusiastically at the blades. She craves the greens absent from her makeshift brooder – a large cardboard box with shavings and a heat lamp set up in our basement. She was rejected by the flock, deemed too small, too weak, too late.

And even though we know better, we decided to raise her by hand rather than watch her die of neglect, abandoned in the yard.

She makes little peep sounds as she rips up the grass. When I speak to her (in a ridiculous high-pitched voice I seem unable to resist when talking to baby animals) she stretches out her neck and peeps at the same time. It’s like a contest: Who can speak the loudest?

I tell myself she is still learning the art of conversation, and about taking turns. But really I’m fooling myself, because I know that geese love to talk all at once when they are excited, and they do so loudly and often.