Monday, February 9, 2015

Teaching the Geese Manners

This weekend, the weather broke out of it's miserable pattern (which is how I am choosing to describe winter, because I don't want to admit that it's a seasonal thing and not a malicious aberration in nature).

We took immediate advantage; we had planned to go to the Botanical Garden last weekend as part of my exceptionally lazy birthday party, and we had gotten rained and snowed out, meaning that I had to do actual work on the party.  So when the weather was favorable, we jumped at the chance.  For the first time since winter set in, there were birds at the bridge where the fish are, and although we're supposed to be feeding the fish, the birds are far more gratifying to feed.  So that was exciting.

Margaret and Ellie tried to cast themselves off the bridge in various ways, as is their wont.

They also kept up a constant demand for food to give to the ducks, as merely looking at ducks is entirely passé and watching them peck the water after food pellets is the best entertainment ever.  Also, Ellie was not as grumpy as she looks here.

And then Margaret decided that she needed to go off by herself down to the water to feed the geese.  As a side note, I find geese some of the most repellent birds I've ever met; as far as I can tell, they fulfill no redeeming social purpose, and they annoy me with their snaky necks and nippiness.  This may be unfair, as I think my brain categorizes them as dirty swans, and I dislike swans.

Anyway, Margaret went down to the edge of the water, sat down, and began trying to teach the swans to eat nicely.  I'm not sure how she was planning to accomplish this, because her methods were somewhat opaque to me, but she told me that she was doing it by clever placement of food.

My guess is that hiding her eyes under her hat played into her plans.  Because if the geese can see where you're looking, they'll pounce on the food.  You have to be careful with geese.  They're tricky.

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