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white goose near poind

Five Ponds For Mosey

Mosey was a tiny ball of yellow fluff the day she came to live at Josiah’s house.

“She’s a gosling,” Mama explained. “A baby goose wants to swim every day.”

“Weep, weep,” Mosey said.

Josiah cupped his hands and Mosey fit cozily inside.

Mosey followed Josiah wherever he went. When Josiah sat still, a tired Mosey climbed up on Josiah’s feet. She tucked her beak into the yellow down on her back and closed her little eyes.

After a nap, Mosey wanted to swim.

Josiah filled the sink with water. Mosey jumped in. Round and round Mosey paddled.

Soon, Mosey’s soft yellow fluff was replaced by budding white quills. They were stiff and Mosey looked funny. And Mosey no longer fit in the sink. The sink was too small.

Josiah filled the bathtub. Mosey jumped in. Round and round Mosey paddled. She dunked her head under the water.

As Mosey’s feathers grew and opened, Mosey grew too big to sit in Josiah’s cupped hands. She followed Josiah wherever she went.

Whenever Mosey found a puddle, she splashed through it.

When Josiah put Mosey in the bathtub for a swim, Mosey’s feet touched the bottom. She couldn’t swim or dunk her head under the water. The bathtub was too small for Mosey.

Mosey followed Josiah to the horse trough. Josiah scooped up the half-grown goose and set her in the cool water. Round and round Mosey paddled. She dunked her head under the water. With her wings, she splashed water.

But soon, when Mosey opened her wings to splash, she slapped the metal sides. She had grown too big for the trough. The trough was too small.

Mosey followed Josiah to the wading pool. Josiah climbed over the side. Mosey climbed in, too. Round and round Mosey paddled. She dunked her head under the water. With her wings, she splashed water. She dove and swam under the surface from one end to the other.

Mosey grew sleek and snowy white. Everyday she used her long yellow beak to comb the thick feathers along her graceful back. She stretched wide her full wings and beat them back and forth, back and forth.

One day in the wading pool, Mosey dived under the water and bumped her beak against the bottom. She tried to stretch her wings wide across the surface of the water, but the side was too near. Mosey and Josiah could no longer swim together in the pool.

Mosey had outgrown the children’s pool. The pool was too small.

Josiah walked. Mosey followed. Josiah passed the house where the sink and the bathtub were too small. He went past the horse corral with the horses and their too small water trough. He continued beyond the too small wading pool. Josiah walked to the pond.

Standing at the beach, Josiah considered the large pond. Standing next to Josiah, Mosey looked across the blue water the other side.

“Go ahead,” Josiah told Mosey. “Try this for size.”

On pink webbed feet, Mosey waded into the pond. Round and round Mosey paddled. She dunked her head under the water. Mosey dove under the surface. She stretched open her wings and beat them against the surface of the water.

“The sink is too small,” Josiah said. “The bathtub is too small. The horse trough is too small. The wading pool is too small. But the pond is just right for a grown goose.”

“Honk, honk,” Mosey said, happily.

Fun Facts about Domestic Geese

Domestic geese are different from their wild cousins, Canadian Geese. Domestic geese are usually found on farms. They are birds that live with people.

There are many kinds of geese. Most domestic geese are descended from the wild Greylag Goose. Unlike wild geese that migrate long distances, domestic geese are not generally good at flying. With a strong tail wind blowing from behind and a running start, a domestic goose can make it over a five-foot fence. If frightened, a domestic goose can manage to stay in the air for up to a quarter of a mile. Typically, domestic geese stay at home.

Domestic geese are a hardy bird and easy to care for. They like water, and simple shelter from bad weather. Goose eggs take 30 days to hatch. The baby geese are called goslings and are covered with soft, fluffy down. As the goose grows up, the down is replaced with long, sleek feathers. Under their feathers and especially on their chest and underside, geese are covered with thick, soft goose down.

Years ago, people particularly liked having geese on the farm. These useful birds provided abundant down that was plucked and used to fill pillows, much like a sheep’s fleece is sheared for wool. The thick, hollow feathers shed by a goose were dipped in ink and used as quill pens.

PeggySue Wells is the author of 40 books. She and her seven children had a pet goose named Mosey.


Meet PeggySue

We’ve heard of soccer moms and stage mothers. I’m a writer who trailers my kids and horses across the nation. My Apple computer, fondly christened MacBeth, is the essential I bring along.