Gwen Petersen
Big Timber, Mont.

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January 27, 2014
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Gwen Petersen: In a Sow's Ear 1-27-14

Geese make good watch dogs. They’ll honk at every newcomer, stranger or odd happening around the place. My neighbor down the road acquired a pet gander by default. Default being her tendency to take in stray critters in need of a home. That gander had his dander up at all times. This is his story ...

Dauntless Desmond

A gander named Desmond

despised the whole world

He honked naughty words and

foul curses he hurled.

Equipped with a beak and

enormous webbed feet,

He even pecked mailmen that

walked on the street.

He terrorized dogs and chased

passing cars;

He stalked through the town like

a creature from Mars.

When neighbors used brooms

to chase Desmond off,

That gander would honk

and defiantly scoff.

Dropping green poop on

steps everywhere,

He drove his poor Mistress

to fits of despair.

“I’ll sell you, Foul Honker

or give you away!”

Desmond screeched, “Do it,

it’ll make my day!”

So up went some ads saying,

one gander cheap,

Will sell for a song,

a hum or a peep.

His Mistress tacked signs

in each shop and each store,

She waited, teeth gritted!

Oh, wow! Was she sore!

Then a girl from the country,

who loved all God’s creatures

Decided weird Desmond had

a few good features.

“What he needs is a mate,

and I’ve a gray goose,

Sweet-natured Lucinda

will surely induce.

That mean-tempered flapper

to change into nice,

So sell me your gander,

just tell me your price.”

Des’ Mistress said, “Take him!

Don’t stop at the gate!

No charge for that fowl!

As a pet he’s not great!”

So Desmond went north

to a ranch on a crick

And gray-goose Lucinda fell

in love really quick.

But Desmond just chased

poor Lucinda away,

And plotted and planned

to hightail it next day.

He spread his wings wide

and flexed his webbed feet,

And early next morning,

he got away neat.

He waddled downstream;

he was looking for trouble,

Determined to burst

somebody’s bubble.

When he found a fine flock

of neighboring geese,

He joined in with them and

Pied Pipered with ease.

The neighbors complained,

“Come fetch that darned bird,

He’s making a racket

like we’ve never heard!”

“He’s coaxed all our gaggle

to swim up the crick

Then abandoned them there,

that’s a real dirty trick!”

(Out in the hills a skulking coyote

Saw the commotion and slyly took note).

But the girl from the country

recaptured that gander,

And vowed she would tame him

(though he couldn’t stand her).

She picketed Des with

a piece of bale string;

Thus tethered, he circled,

flapping one wing.

He honked and he screeched, cursing his fate;

His feathery chest was filled with dark hate.

(And up on the hill, the coyote’s bleak howl

Announced his intention of eating that fowl).

Then down from the hills,

that Coyote did slither,

Lucinda screeched madly,

dashing hither and thither.

And Coyote eyed Desmond

caught on the fetter

This dinner was certain!

This couldn’t be better!

Then Lucinda rushed in

and pecked Coyote’s end,

While the girl from the country

aimed her 4-10.

The furry-tailed predator

left on the run,

And Lucinda squawked,

“Desmond, how are you, Hon?”

Well, Desmond though pale,

looked at her twice,

And proposed on the spot,

said he’d try to be nice.

They were married forthwith

(though she made him beg).

And then came a day

she produced one egg.

Hid in the brush,

she sat on her nest,

While Desmond stood guard

with gander finesse.

He chased off raccoons

and nosy woodchucks.

When Lucinda said, “Thanks,”

he responded, “Aw shucks.”

Four weeks to the day,

for Nature’s not tricky,

There hatched from the egg

dear Little Ricky.

A gander, a goose and a gosling

make three,

They march in procession,

plumb happy and free,

Dining on bugs and hoppers

and greens,

Makes ’em fast poopers

(you know what that means).

Desmond, Lucinda and Little Ricky, too,

Make enough noise to turn the air blue.

They rule in the barnyard with royal disdain.

Honking so loudly, they give folks a pain.

Though Desmond’s mean manners still can amaze,

From Lucinda and Ricky he never strays.

For that is the way of a gander and goose —

They pair off for life and that is the truth! ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Jan 23, 2014 10:27AM Published Feb 10, 2014 01:37PM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.