By Barbara H. Peterson


Dee Dee Dee and the spinach patch.

We have a goose that lives in our garden. Not just any goose, but a very special goose. His name is Dee Dee Dee, and this is his story.

Early one morning in April, a tiny beak poked its way out of one of the many eggs nestled warmly under one of our young geese. As this little guy poked his way out, his brothers and sisters were making their way into the world also. Finally, everyone came out of their shells, and snuggled up under the protective wings of their mother. It was a proud moment for a new mom.

As time went on, it became clear that little Dee Dee Dee was not as quick as the others. He lagged behind, and spent a lot of time by himself. He also did not grow as fast as the others, and seemed weak. He would take a few steps and then sit down, exhausted. He could never keep up, and consigned himself to foraging alone, without the protection and company of his family. He looked lost.

Then he found the garden. 

Every morning, during watering time, there was Dee Dee Dee, wandering around, grazing in the garden. And every morning, we escorted him out, but as soon as we turned our backs, he was right back in. This had to stop! All of the new lettuce was disappearing, and he started working on the spinach. So we found a hole in the fence that was only big enough for him to get through, and patched it. Problem solved. Or so we thought.

That evening, I watched as Dee Dee Dee sat in front of the fence, staring at the garden. I felt bad, but figured that there was plenty of food and water for him outside, and that he would get over it and be okay. In the morning, we found him still sitting. He was so weak that he was unable to walk. That seemed to be the end of Dee Dee Dee. I cried, then went out and picked him up. He snuggled his little head inside my robe, and made a few muffled goosey noises.

I decided right then and there that he could live in the garden, so I opened the gate, and brought him in. He perked up immediately. I set him down in a sunny spot in the middle of a patch of grass, gave him a pan of water, then went back into the house to peek out the kitchen window at him. He started eating. Then he started drinking. After about an hour or so, he was up and walking around. Saved by the garden!

Yesterday I harvested spinach, but made sure to leave enough for Dee Dee Dee to glean. He is gaining strength, and is happy. He may not be as big, or live as long as the rest of his brothers and sisters, but he is happy. Was it a broken heart that almost killed him? I will never know. All I know is that he is alive and well, and living in the garden.

© 2011 Barbara H. Peterson