My friend Penny, of the cute windmill fame from the last post, used to keep free range chickens and geese in her nice big 2 acre garden. Sadly, however, a visit from a hungry fox last year meant that only one lone gander named Archie remained. Archie is a very lovely looking goose but he is also a very big goose. Humongous in fact and since his recent return to single status, he has been, quite frankly, a very cranky goose. Archie loves Penny and considers her part of his family and she picks him up and cuddles him and carries him around the garden. Her partner, however, is not so lucky. He has frequently been on the receiving end of Archie's wrath as has their dog Cheeky, who refuses to go out if Archie is sitting on the porch first thing in the morning on the grounds that Archie bites her tail!!
My nemesis Archie
A few weeks ago it was my turn to be on the receiving end of one of Archies tantrums. Penny and I were on our way to the greenhouse to have a look at how her plants were progressing when, in a flurry of snowy white feathers, an angry goose came charging across the garden and attached itself to the back of my leg. He wouldn't let go. And as if that wasn't painful enough, he then began flapping his wings and kicking me with his huge rubbery feet, still attached, by the beak, to the back of my calf! Suffice to say, the next day, I was covered in deep purple bruises all down the back of my leg which took about 2 weeks to finally disappear. It's fair to say that since then, I have given Archie a fairly wide berth.
Anyway, when I went to visit Penny for a coffee this morning, she suggested a stroll down the garden saying she had something to show me. I'm guessing she must have sensed my lack of enthusiasm because she added that Archie had been put in one of the large pens at the bottom of the garden and that we would be able to wander down there quite safely. Off we went, part of me half expecting to see a flurry of feathers heading my way and preparing to run should it be necessary (well, actually, hobble because I have torn a ligament in my right knee and it's agony .... but that's a whole other story!!).
When we arrived at Archie's pen I was thrilled to bits. Archie has a girlfriend. Her name is Allie and she is a Toulouse goose. She had been put in one of the big pens for a while by herself with Archie wandering around outside so they could get used to each other and a couple of days ago, Archie was allowed to move into the pen with her. Today, they are finally going to be released back out into the garden where they will be able to do goosey things to their hearts content.
The beautiful Allie