i like geese. well, at least the canadian variety that seems to like hanging out in the humid area we call oklahoma. they're very entertaining. i like the way they waddle. i like their voices. and just watching a flock of them on the ground is quite comical. whenever we stumble on to a flock i'm always driven to smile. i really like geese.
they settle in our neighborhood park from time to time. we have a lake there. and a walking trail. and when i walk the dogs on the trail around the lake we enjoy the geese. petunia tries the chase them. for the most part they humor her and pretend to run away. she hasn't yet learned that they can turn back on her quite fiercely without notice. could be fun to watch.
one evening we were going to dinner. hon and i, my sister and brother in law. driving east on 50th street, a semi-major thoroughfare here in the city. suddenly all traffic had to stop. here, right in front of us, was a flock of geese just waddling across the four lane street. taking their time. not a care in the world. and it pleased me greatly that not only did we stop, every car in every lane stopped to allow the geese to pass. and i think everyone who witnessed the crossing was smiling. geese are just fun.
so much so am i affected by the geese that i've pretty much concluded that i, in an earlier life, was a goose myself. well, hopefully a gander. partly because i'm so amused and smitten by them and partly because i tend to walk like them, and, according to my wife, can nearly duplicate their noises. enough about that.
monday evening hon and i decided to take a walk around our neighborhood lake. we do this frequently when the weather's nice. it's a peaceful area. probably a 10 acre park with a 4 or 5 acre lake. playground equipment, volleyball, swimming pool, basketball court. kids playing and riding their bikes around the trail. ducks in the lake all the time. and on this occasion, one lone goose floating on the lake. that's unusual, for geese mate for life. unless one mate has passed, you just don't see a goose solo.
as we rounded the lake to the west and looped back east, we encountered some neighbors who asked if we'd heard a gunshot. no. apparently they had heard one about two or three minutes before we got to the park. and apparently that gun shot had killed two of my beloved geese.
we continued on the trail until we reached the site of the killing. there were a young couple who had been fishing when the shots were fired. their story was that there had been a small flock of geese hanging out near the lake. no fences, just yards blending into the park. and one old guy didn't like the geese in his yard. so much so that he came out and yelled and screamed and chased them off. and then two minutes later the young couple fishing hear a shot, and looked up just in time to see most of the flock fly off. and two stagger, then fall into the water.
the young man, justin, ran to the aid of the geese. alas, all he could do was fish the geese out of the water and lay them on the shore. they had passed.
hon cried. actually was so upset by the senseless killing that she cried. i didn't cry. i was incensed. angry it not an apt word to describe my feelings. justin was on the phone with the 911 operator. an officer would be dispatched.
some ten minutes later two of oklahoma city's finest arrived. they investigated the area and found the wad from a 12 gauge shotgun. as well as obvious markings indicating the geese had been killed by shotgun shot.
there was only one house near enough to the crime scene for a 12 gauge to have had the impact to kill two geese. the officers approached the house and knocked on the door. an elderly man came to the door - sliding patio door - and the police asked his name. he told them. they asked if he owned a shotgun. he said he didn't have to answer. they asked if they could come into his house. he refused. they asked if he had fired a shotgun at geese. he refused to answer. then he began to attack the police, "i don't like your attitude. go to hell. i don't have to tell you anything." and the cops walked away from his door.
they talked to witnesses a bit. it was obvious they were pretty mad at the old guy. they talked about having ballistics come out. they talked about calling federal game authorities. they talked about getting a search warrant. and as they asked the crowd that had grown to disburse, they indicated that they had done all the above.
i know it's a felony to discharge a firearm in the city limits. the guy should be hung for that, assuming ballistics can match the pattern in the 12 gauge wad. and the feds, from what i hear, don't take kindly to folks killing protected geese. and i don't know which makes me angrier, the killing of the geese, or the fact that this a-hole fired a shotgun into a park area where lots of people were walking and kids are playing. just insane.
so hopefully this old fella will spend at least a day or two in the slammer and pay some horrendous fine. if not, alas, it's true. there is no justice.