It’s that time of day.
It happens in the spring — at least once in the morning, at least once in the late afternoon.
Sometimes, at the very same time that motorists are returning home from work.
Suddenly, all traffic stops.
And everyone waits.
On certain streets of certain Canadian cities.
This late afternoon, on this particular street, Mother Goose leads her children across the road.
All seven of them.
A line of tiny, fluffy, yellow and tawny-coloured goslings follows her across, looking neither this way nor that, intent on doing their mother’s bidding. And she’s intent on getting to the grass on the other side of the wide road.
It’s as if those big, noisy machines weren’t even there.
As if there weren’t humans inside those machines, staring, goggle-eyed.
Staring at the almost regal procession taking place in front of them.
As if remembering that honking is for geese, and they are humans after all, no-one honks their horns as they wait. No-one shouts or displays signs of impatience and bad manners.
One motorist, a man dressed in a fine suit, has his camera handy. He quietly opens his door and steps out of the car. There’s a bemused, almost foolish smile on his face.
The stresses of his day seem completely absent as he moves slowly, quietly, so as not to disturb the birds. As if a doorway suddenly opened to a hidden world and he’s stepping into it to take a photo – for proof that he was there.
Or maybe he just plans to show his children photos of this scene. Of this moment when Mother Nature showed up on a busy Toronto street.
Or maybe to explain to his wife why he’s late.
Because now there’s a second Mother Goose. And this one has nine children. All taking their slow, sweet time to waddle across the road.
And just as the motorists think the parade is over and they can resume their drive home, along comes a third Mother Goose –and her brood. Six… no seven… no … my goodness. Ten? Yes, ten.
It’s a whole gaggle of geese.
A flock of feathered creatures.
An avian assembly.
Geese and their goslings slowly waddling and tottering across a busy road.
In line, one behind the other.
Very slowly. As if to say:
Only we are here.
Mama Goose is here. She who takes care of us children, she who keeps us safe, as long as we follow.
Meanwhile, another motorist phones home to share the news of the strange happening. His voice is raised in disbelief, even as he describes the scene.
In other cars, drivers’ bemused stares reluctantly turns to smiles.
A whole gaggle of men and women giggling, at the end of a long work day.
As if to say:
Of all the things a Toronto motorist expects on his way home from work, it’s not this.
Dedicated to drivers in every city who stop and wait for the geese at this time of year.
29 thoughts on “A Gaggle and a Giggle”
fun story and title!
Thanks! Hope you’re doing well, Brad.
Yes, but it’s a long holiday. We’ll see when looking for work and income hits tomorrow! XD
All my best to you.
I figure anyone who can do what you’ve done with your blog, has a LOT going for him.
You have reason to be confident.
Thanks Cynthia. I appreciate your encouragement.
Makes me smile, Cynthia. We stopped for a family ourselves, hubby and I, just yesterday, for a long time. Mother or Father wouldn’t leave the street, kept straining her/his neck backward, as if looking for a missing one. 🙂
I wonder if one was missing…..
I forget: what city do you live in – or near?
I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
Lovely post, mother nature is great at getting us to slow down!
One way or another, she does!
Awwww. I remember us stopping for some ducks on the way to my grand parents’ house. One came round to the window and quacked as if to say thank you.
That’s such a great image, MT. Thanks for sharing. I know it’s a busy time for you right now with finishing up books 3 and 4, so thanks for taking the time to visit.
It’s a pleasure. To be honest, the books are OK, it’s the kitten and my boy that are taking up the time this week.
What a treat this post was. It seems such a shame that often life takes us so far away from nature, so it is very reassuring to see how quickly folk can reconnect with it in a situation like this.
So right, Karen. We see something and realize how precious nature is, eh?
Gee, I’m sorry for always saying ‘eh’. I’m a silly Canadian — goose.
Fascinating how we will stop for wildlife. I have seen the same here with ducklings; endless patience by humans as the ducks cross the road. Reminds me of this story http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make_Way_for_Ducklings
What a great story! The ducklings have great names too.
This is a lovely story, Cynthia! Thank-you for sharing it.
Thank you for reading it.
U know, I *love* Canada geese. There. I said it. 😉
I’m glad you love the geese. A lot of people don’t, as you know.
(There’s a whole chapter in my book about my husband and the Canada Geese. Our family still laughs when we remember it.)
A refreshing blog you share here, Cynthia. Thank you.
Thank you, Eric. so glad you took the time to visit my blog.
Reblogged this on Cynthia Reyes – Author and commented:
How did the geese cross the road?
We have lots of Canada geese vacationing here and we do the same!
Making way for goslings! They seem to bring out the best of motorists.
Don’t you love it? I remember, long time ago, on a major highway near a toll booth all the cars standing stock still while a mama Mallard and her babies crossed all 8 lanes. If so many can be so kind to geese and ducks, why can’t we all do better at getting along? (no answer needed, 🙂
Oh we have that problem on the Island too. These little geese have no fear and their mothers are strong willed not to be intimidated by a horn to move along. Fun post!