An update from Cheri at Maple Farm Sanctuary:
In late September a Mendon resident called us saying there was a Canada Goose in her yard, unable to fly. Jim and I got our net and small blankets and went to catch the goose. When we arrived it was obvious the goose couldn’t fly but there we no signs of injury. Once we got him back to the sanctuary, I examined him for obvious broken bones or other trauma. The only finding was that he was young and very underweight.
We didn’t want him to bond with us (as difficult as that was!) so we provided him with lots of food, fresh water and the ability to stay in the barn or leave. He began going into the barnyard and making practice flights. He flourished! He knew the barn schedule better than we did. As I fed the squished grapes to the chickens at night the goose quickly grew to appreciate the special treat as well.
As November came to an end more flocks of Canada Geese were coming to visit our fields. With each coming and going was a lot of honking. Our little goose was now paying closer attention to all of this activity. Then, one morning a flock landed with the usual fanfare. Our goose honked a few times as if to inquire…is it time to go? I opened the barnyard gate and called "goose-goose". He followed me from the barnyard to the top of the slope overlooking the flock of geese. I stopped….he walked right past me and straight into the flock. A few geese pecked at him to let him know who was boss. He bravely moved into the flock and, in a blink of an eye, it became a page out of "Where’s Waldo?". When the geese left at dusk no one was left standing in the field. "Goose-Goose" healed, grew up and moved on.
Geese still come to our fields everyday. I still check for "Goose-Goose" and occasionally think I recognize him. Hopefully he will have a good life and avoid the hunters gun, predators leap and the changes to his environment.
We’ll have to gather for a field trip down to the shelter, let me know if you’d be interested in join a volunteer work party for a day this spring. Namaste! John
P.S. Save the date: Saturday January 31’st for the next gathering at Yoga and Nia For Life in Concord, Mass. details very soon.