Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Goose Who Didn't Go

The goose who didn’t go
Refused to fly away
She didn’t care for flying
And wanted just to stay.

Her sisters and her brothers
Flew into a sky of gray
But for this goose a different fate
Awaited her that day.

I wasn’t like all the others. I wasn’t ready to leave home, to explore the great, vast world. I was perfectly comfortable in my own little nest on my own familiar pond.

I watched them all leave, day after day, seeking the thrills and adventures of a life in flight, but I didn’t envy their journey. I didn’t even consider their path in life for myself. I was destined for something altogether different, and while I might not have known what it was at the time, I was sure that it was great.

Mother and Father worried over me. They honked and fussed, kept insisting that I try to fly, that I give my wings a chance. But I knew my own heart, and I knew I couldn’t leave my pond, at least not until I learned what my true purpose was.

I didn’t have to wait long. My fellow fledglings had already left the pond, soaring south as our instincts demanded. Only a few members of my flock remained. Mother and Father were growing desperate, but I was steadfast in my wishes; I insisted that they go on without me.

You’ll freeze! You’ll starve! You’ll be eaten by a fox! Mother exclaimed frantically; her desperation made her honks high-pitched and pitiful. I tried to ignore the twinge of guilt I felt. You’ll freeze, and your wings will fall off, and then where will you be!!??

I wondered where she thought I’d be if I left. Just like all the rest. Another goose living a goose life, flying south and back and south and back. I wanted something different. I wanted something new. I tried to make her understand this for what would be the last time. She and Father argued until they could argue no more. Their stubborn gosling was just a stubborn goose, and there was no helping it. They left me standing on the shore of our pond; they refused to look back or even say goodbye.

On this the day I didn’t go, I felt a little lonely. I stood on the shore for what seemed like an eternity, watching the spot where Mother and Father and all the others had disappeared into a vast sky, a sky that didn’t beckon me or call my name. I waddled around the banks, snapping at the random beetle bug, sifting through the grass for seed. It was while I was sifting through the grass that I met my true purpose and began to understand why I didn’t feel the call of flight.

I poked my bill through the thick grass of the bank. Something smelled interesting in that specific spot, so I stuck my bill in again just for another moment.


The squeak was so soft I might have missed it altogether if it hadn’t been accompanied by a quick swat to my bill. I took a couple of steps back and flapped my wings in the most threatening of ways. Whatever lay hidden deep in the grass didn’t move a muscle. I waddled a bit closer. Hello?

My greeting was met by a low growling sound. Don’t come any closer.

I stretched my neck, peered deeper into that thick grass. Some black fur was nestled in the tall stems, a peak of white.  Who are you?  I asked quietly. All kinds of creatures lived near the pond, but I knew I’d never seen one with black and white fur before. I vainly wished another goose was there to help figure out this curious critter.

The growling sound was replaced by a pitiful mew. I’m no one. I’ve lost who I am.

Lost who you are? How was that even possible? This creature was very strange indeed. I honked a platitude and nosed in closer. Two perfect black ears poked out from the top of the grass, glowing yellow eyes followed. For a moment, I grew a little frightened. Perhaps this was one of those fox things Mother had warned me about.

Then the rest of its head appeared. If this was a fox, it was far too cute to be threatening. Its golden eyes blinked at me. You’re a goose.

Yes, I am, and what are you?

I used to be a kitten, but I’ve lost my mother, so I’m not sure what I am anymore. The creature…er, kitten dropped its head sadly. Suddenly, I realized the reason I didn’t want to fly away with the others. I discovered my purpose in this strange being with its black and white fur and soft, mewing voice. I think I had been waiting on it.

I straightened out my neck, smoothed down my wings and tried to look peaceful and comforting. Well, I used to be a goose, but I didn’t fly away, so I’m not sure what I am either. Maybe we can figure out what we are together.

And so we did. 


Author's Note: This was written for the Lightning and Lightning Bug prompt: I Need a Vacation. We were instructed to write a story about a vacation or a journey. As usual, I tried to take my response in an unexpected direction. So I wrote about the lack of a journey that led to a journey. 

By the way I'm guest-posting over at Narragansett No. 7 today. I reveal a dark and dirty sure to check it out!


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