A Boy And His Goose
By Rick Kurtis
It was a rainy day in the early spring of the year. A man comes home, bearing a surprise.
"What is it?" The boy asked. The small boy was only the tender age of three. He peeks over the edge of the box that his father had brought home. The father puts the box down and gets a heat lamp. He clamps it on the box. There in the box, much to the boys surprise were six of the largest eggs that the child had ever seen.
Growing up on a farm, the boy already knew about many farm animals and how things came about. For the next week or two, the boy carefully watched over the eggs. The boy would wake up every morning to look at the eggs. He would always catch the changes in their arrangement, commenting to his mother. “They moved, mommy, they move.”
Days turned into weeks, as the boy watched, until one day the eggs started to move. The shells looked old and cracked. How excited the child was. He yelled for his mother and they watch together as the eggs cracked and little beaks appeared. Five eggs cracked and split open, while the sixth egg remained still. The baby goslings stretched and dried under the warmth of the heat lamp. The boy watches the sixth egg, as the mother walks away.
An hour passes and the mother comes back to see her son still staring at the egg. The boy taps the egg and rocks it so very gently. “I don’t think the egg is any good. Come and eat your lunch, before it gets cold.” The mother pulls the boy away. He quickly eats and returns to the box. The boy taps on the egg again and watches. This time, he hears a crack and the egg starts to move. The boy screams for his mother, making her jump out of her skin. The mother comes in and they watch the sixth egg hatch.
The boy helps and pulls away the shell from the baby Gosling. “She’s the smallest of the bunch Mama, just like me.” The boy exclaimed.
Days pass into weeks, weeks pass into months. It was the boys’ new responsibility to take care of the six goslings. As the goslings’ grew, the boy was attached to only one, the sixth one. They became best friends. The boy never neglected his daily duties. He fed and watered the geese every day. There was a special connection between himself and the runt of the group. The other five would honk, waiting to be fed. They would just wander around the pen, paying no attention. Goosy Lucy, the boys’ favorite, would always come up to the gate waiting for the boy to arrive.
Now grown, the geese were on their own, out of the pen and allowed to roam on the farm. Lucy and the boy were inseparable. They were always together.
By the time winter came, the birds were all nestled into their coop. One day the mother was frantic and could not find her son. After a long extensive search, there he was asleep in the coop among the geese. Lucy’s head laid curled up upon his chest.
At first, the mother grabbed up her son and hugged him. Then she started to yell in a stern voice saying how frightened she was. Lucy raised her wings and honked violently, pecking at her. The mother stood back as the goose got between them. The boy hugs the goose and they leave.
During the spring rains, the boy would go out, splash in the puddles, and catch the rain. All the while, Lucy was by his side.
Now it was summer and the boy and Lucy would play on the lawn. The boy would hang through the tire swing and swing while Lucy would prance back and forth honking with delight. Laughter arose from the boy and anyone else who happened to come along and watch.
One day, while playing hide and seek with Lucy, the mailman came. The boy started to run to the road to get the mail. The mailman look quickly and yelled “STOP”. Lucy flew across the lawn, reaching the boy by the ditch and knocking him over onto the ground, just as a grain-truck went barreling down the road. The mailman rushes over to see if the boy is all right and the goose protests. He calms the goose down and takes the boy to the house and explains what just happened. The boy didn’t understand why his mother was mad. He wasn’t hurt, he was safe. This time, Lucy didn’t squawk at the mother at all.
As the summer days past, the boy now four years of age, enjoyed his only companion. Lucy was his only friend, the only one to play with. Every morning, the boy would go out of the house and Lucy would be by the door, waiting. He would do his chores, then go to the barn to visit his dad who was milking the cows. It made his father laugh to watch the two of them walk in side-by-side. Sometimes the boy would get a cup of warm milk, straight from the cow while waiting for his father to finish. Then all three of them would walk to the house, carrying a pail of milk.
The boy loved Lucy. After breakfast, they would go out into the yard and play. On Saturday, the boy would open the door and invite Lucy into the house. They would go into the living room and lay on the floor to watch their favorite cartoons. Then it would be time for lunch. The mother refused to let Lucy sit in a chair at the table, but she could stay right by the boys side. The boy laughed away at her expressions when he gave her something she didn’t like. She would shake her head and drop the food, onto the floor. Then they would go out to play.
Hide and seek was their favorite, but the boy also like to play Army. He was always the leader, the commander. They would hide and wait for the enemy to go by. He would tell Lucy to wait as he dashed out across the lawn to the nearest tree. Once secure, he would motion to Lucy to follow. Lucy would scurry across the lawn as fast as she could to be by his side. Then he would crawl to the next tree and again motion to Lucy. Lucy would squat close to the ground and waddle her way across.
The boy wanted Lucy to spend the night, but the mother refused. So the father pulled out an old army tent and pitched it on the lawn. The tent was used day and night for the rest of the summer.
The father takes the boy to a carnival and wins him a Yogi bear stuffed animal. The next morning, Lucy cannot be found.
Continuing through the years, the pets had come and gone. None of them ever came close to the bond shared between, a boy and his goose.