Those “V” formations in the sky are a sight to behold.
Geese are flying south for the winter, and there certainly have been many of the big, beautiful honkers in the skyways during recent days. “Goose music,” their faint honking spilling down from the skies in the late afternoon, forecasts their presence. They’ve frequently landed to rest and feed in several of our ponds.
One can see them take meals from the water as they float, and occasionally some will pick for chow on the shore. If quiet, we can sneak up quite close before the graceful swimmers hear us, but then it’s like a small explosion when they take flight in rapid succession. We’ve never shot at a goose, never hunted geese, and never had the desire.
However, we’ll never forget our third grade teacher reading in the Little House on the Prairie book about Charles Ingalls shooting a goose, and making a down comforter for Laura from the big bird’s pelt. Funny how a specific tale like that can be remembered, and one, us at least, can imagine how it looked, felt and fit the small child.
Actually, facts reveal there are 11 subspecies of Canada Goose. The largest has a six-foot wingspan and weighs 20 pounds. (That evidently was one like Charles shot with his black powder muzzle-loader.) Only swans are larger, but the smallest “cackling”goose weighs just two to four pounds; that must be like a long-necked
According to those who study geese, as each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the one immediately following. Statisticians claim that by flying in a “V” formation,
the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wings, and another goose flies point. The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. When a goose is sick or wounded and falls out, two geese follow it down to offer help and protection. They stay with the goose until it can fly or dies, and then
start out again.
Too bad we aren’t more like geese. We’d stay in formation with those who are headed
the same way we’re going, take turns doing hard jobs, give an encouraging word along the way and stand by each other in every predicament. Geese sure seem to have a lot more common sense than most of us.
Sound recommendation comes in Romans 15:5:“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.” Therefore is the promise of Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to purpose.”