There are two geese nesting somewhere between the edge of our yard and our neighbor’s farm. Geese are great because they absolutely love humans and they definitely don’t poop everywhere and they are totally fine with you getting within 100 yards of your own garbage can/their nesting spot.
Our gaggle has been goosing around our driveway for nearly a month – and yet, without fail, every morning one of our two children will call us over to the window and shout, “Look, a goose!”
Pointing out wildlife is one of the major requirements of being in or near the countryside (other requirements include taking photos of sunsets and commenting on the weather). I’m guessing I’ve seen upwards of 50,000 cows, horses, sheep in my travels around North Dakota and Minnesota, and each time I make sure to stop what I’m doing and say, “Look, cows/horses/sheep!” Sometimes I will add “Moo!” or “Neigh!” or “Bah!” because it’s important to me that my boys know I’m multilingual.
I know that I’m not alone in this behavior because I’ve had the following animals identified to me on many, many occasions: ducks, deer, hawks, crows, rabbits, foxes, turkeys, chickens, dogs, coyotes, cats, and crop dusters (not animals but very commonly commented upon).
Technically you don’t even need to be in the country to point out an animal. My parents have a Grandparents Membership to the Minnesota Zoo and have taken my family roughly a million times. I’ve seen the flamingos every single one of those million times, and every single time they are always doing the exact same thing: standing around in their exhibit. And every single time I see them standing around in the exact same place they are always standing around, I say to someone near me, “Look, flamingos.”
I have a theory as to why people do this. Animals don’t care that we have discovered fire and invented food delivery; they go about living their lives as nature intended – and we humans are fascinated to see it in action. Those animals are our reminder that no matter how high and mighty we get with our opposable thumbs and streaming services, every day two geese chase me away from my own garbage can and poop on my driveway.
My brother-in-law is a member of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or Mounties) in Canada. One winter night he was patrolling around when he came across a moose standing in a grove of trees.
“Look, a moose,” he thought.
He watched that moose for a bit and realized something amiss. Upon very-far-away-closer-inspection, he realized the moose had a large ball of snow and ice caked around one of his hooves. The moose was obviously tired from dragging the ball around, and would probably die if left unaided.
Now while you can get near to geese and cows and flamingos, the number-one rule of moose-ing is to stay the heck away. Not only do moose not care that you’ve been to Disneyland and can solve for X, when they see a human they don’t grunt, “Look, a human.” Instead, they seem to think, “Here’s something that needs to be smushed.”
However, my brother-in-law is a nice guy and felt badly that this moose was going to meet its maker because of a snowball, so he trudged his way out there (after calling in another Mountie, just in case) with a snow shovel and carefully chipped the ice off of the moose until the animal was able to walk away. As a thanks, the moose didn’t smush him.
The photo above is of our friendly neighborhood geese.
Speaking of good neighbors, this week’s news has kid-friendly outfits and pie. Read on.
Happy 100th birthday to Fargo’s Lyle Anderson! (Fargo Forum)
The Independent Press Awards has recognized the literary efforts (and biological know-how) of UND’s Robert Seabloom. (Grand Forks Herald)
Bismarck’s The Dream Center is powered by volunteers and donations in order to get tens of thousands of pounds of food distributed to those in need. (KX Net)
The Bowman Regional Library raised $3,000 selling little slices of heaven pie. (Bowman Extra)
The North Dakota Women’s Network held a fashion show where all of the outfits were put together by kids. (KX Net)
(Like Amanda Silverman Kosior and/or North Dakota Nice? Check out this other story about a sports rivalry, published with permission from The Red Cent.)