I had forgotten how busy they are, and curious. About everything.
This is my friend's daughter. I'm watching her while her mom and dad are at a horse show with her sisters. It has been a very busy day here at the S house. Very being an understatement.
We decided to go see the geese at Minnow Pond. As you can tell, we also took in the Lotus Pond as well. It is just as stunning as last year's display. Huge, round leaves on slim stems that belie their strength. Some of them were as big as B herself. Flowers of the softest cream and pink, suited her taste perfectly.
Imagine the reaction of someone so small to such a sight. A little fearful, a little curious, a little surprised. I pulled a leaf over for her to hold. She asked me if she could sit on it.
"Well, if you were as light as a bug, you could. But you are heavier than a bug and it may not hold you up."
"Oh. I won't sit on it."
While we were walking around the Lotus Pond, we found the shell of a craw fish. Poor thing. His shell had been left behind after a lovely morning repast for some lucky bird.
Assuring her that it would not, could not, bite her, B decided it was interesting and began to ask all sorts of questions.
"Why is he dead?"
"Where is his mother?"
"Why did they eat him?"
"Can we take him home?"
I am sure the conversation would have lasted longer had a small trail of fire ants not decided that B's feet were too cute to miss.
Darn those pesky creatures.
We walked back to Minnow Pond to feed the geese. Today's menu was day-old wheat bread. The geese have become much more bold. They have no fear of people, even the babies. We quickly became surrounded by honking, waddling birds.
In the group is a white goose that we have named George. Living at the pond for years, he is clearly the leader, a bit like Flora. He is blind in one eye now and has to cock his head just so to see what it is you are offering. I feel a bit sorry for him. Well, I did until he decided that B's pinkie finger looked tasty and latched onto it. A quick pop on his beak released his hold.
Through her tears, B told George that he was not very nice. Good for her.
In the flock of wild geese, I noticed a small male with what could only be described as a cleft beak. The upper portion of his beak was malformed and very short. You could see his tongue trying to grab a small piece of bread to eat. He couldn't do it. Oh, how sorry I felt for him.
How had he survived so long with such a disability? I'm sure that in the water he was much more able to bring food into his mouth. Gliding along with his beak under the surface would enable him to scoop up tiny brim into his mouth.
In the picture below you can see him and the outline of his deformity. He is the second goose from the left, the one being chastised by another.
I explained to B about this little goose, that he had something wrong with him and that he may not live to be a big goose.
"He needs his mom." Yes. Yes he does.
I wonder how she got so smart?