Certain things can really focus your attention, really bring you into the present moment. Like being chased by a crazed goose.
This is not my writing prompt exercise from yesterday; this happened.
Today I went for a jog on a road near my house. On this road lives a kindly woman with a bird sanctuary on her property. She feeds them and gives them safe harbor.
After I passed her property on the way back toward my house, I heard a slight clacking sound. It wasn’t terribly loud over the sound of my iPod. After a moment, I looked around and saw a white goose running alongside and just behind me. For an instant I thought, cute—sort of like Mother Goose without the hat.
Then I noticed that Mother Goose wasn’t just keeping pace; she was closing the distance. And there wasn’t much distance to close—like maybe a foot.
I sped up a little (I’m not a fast runner), but Mother Goose was still gaining. She was close enough to nip my ankles. It was at this point, dear readers, that I began to panic.
I felt ridiculous running away from a goose, but it wasn’t slowing down and I feared for my ankles. I had no idea how much damage a goose could do, but I didn’t want to find out. She was close enough that even if she were a peaceful, noncombative goose, I risked tripping over her and spraining an ankle.
I needed to get some distance.
I’m not sure why, but I banked left onto a neighbor’s yard to see if that might shake her off. What do I know—I’ve never been chased by a goose before!
Mother Goose turned on a dime and was right at my feet. The goose was clearly pursuing me. I have no idea why. I carried neither food nor stolen goslings. Nevertheless, this was one determined, fast-moving little goose. I mean, she was booking.
Outmaneuvering her had failed; it was time for drastic measures. I didn’t want to hurt the thing, but I thought if I nudged it with my foot, it might get scared and leave me alone.
I nudged. Given that I was also running, it was probably more like a kick. I like animals, people. I didn’t want to hurt Mother Goose, even if she was clearly deranged. Flooded with guilt, I looked back at the poor thing.
Mother Goose was clearly uninjured, wings flapping, feet running. Who knew geese could move so fast? Or maybe I am just really slow. The kick nudge only bought me a couple of feet. Feeling ridiculous but also desperate to escape, I ran as fast as I could. It turns out I can run pretty fast when I want to. After I put some space between me and the devil-goose, I risked a looked back.
She was still coming. WTF?!
I was close to my house by now and really out of breath. Mother Goose was still coming but more slowly. So I walked across my yard and into my house, looking behind me the whole time.
After three months of trying to be brave, this is how I handle a deranged goose. I kick it and run all the way home. Not good, people, not good. The best thing I can say for myself is that I didn’t cry.
Safely in front of my computer again, I googled goose attacks and found this. Looks like I got off easy.
In other news, I did my writing prompt yesterday as promised. It was kind of fun, but of course what I wrote was drivel. That’s ok.
Today’s writing prompt comes from The Pocket Muse, by Monica Wood:
Begin with a character at odds with his or her physical environment. She has a broken foot, and the elevator doesn’t work. He arrives at the beach house with the wrong set of keys. Escalate the conflict by adding a second character who is more hindrance then help.
I really hope Mother Goose is ok. Stupid goose.