On the way to town this morning, I beheld a horror that was nigh on unmentionable. But of course I'll mention it. Val would never let a fright get in the way of unraveling a good yarn.
I piloted my large SUV down the blacktop county road as I do every day, at least once. As we approached the low-water bridge, I pointed out to The Pony that the pair of roaming geese were not in their field. Neither were they on the road. So I was wary. That meant they were either floating along in the creek, or chillin' on the bridge.
It's a blind approach to that low-water bridge. Not on a curve. The road is ruler-straight. But it dips. Like one of those pretty pastel rubbery rulers that are flexible and can be whipped and whapped and leave a welt on an unsuspecting victim. Hypothetically, of course. This road dip at the edge of the bridge can be quite a problem in times of high water, because you cannot see if water is over the bridge until you are within ten feet of it. And if it is, you must put your large SUV in reverse, and back up for about a quarter mile to a turnaround driveway.
So I crept toward the bridge slowly this morning, lest the pair of geese be sitting in the middle. Oh, the geese were there. Toward the left side. One was sitting, kind of impersonating a swan. And the other was standing. That's when I saw the bone-chilling, nerve-wracking, tooth-chattering, silent scream of a sight:
That goose only had one leg!!!
Yikes! It was all I could do to drive by without losing a wheel over the other side. I couldn't shield The Pony. He insists on riding behind me, rather than in the shotgun position. Like I'm a common chauffeur, or perhaps to glide his window down one day at a stoplight and request some Grey Poupon. And The Pony was already looking for the geese, because I had so kindly pointed out that they were not in the field or on the road.
The more I gawked, the more I was relieved that the wound was not messy. No bloody stump. It was as if a goose surgeon had been flown in, perhaps in formation, to perform the amputation. I could not help but feel responsible. Had not I needed the Freon Chef to return to my abode yesterday? The one who handed me the yellow bill. That was not from a fowl? Now this silly goose was missing a leg. Coincidence, perhaps?
That gander stood there. On one leg. Not teetering. Very stable. The Pony asked how it could stand up from sitting position with only one leg. "Oh, geese. They have a good sense of balance. They're like the gymnasts of the avian world." Anything to keep The Pony's mind off the atrocity most likely committed by our very own air conditioner repair man.
"Um. Mom? His leg is not missing. It's up under his body, keeping warm. Our chickens do that sometimes."