There once was a goose who found a small, quiet pond, with just enough fish and just enough sunlight. I do not know the name nor if it is a he or a she. I just know that a goose is a goose. “All is good here.” said the goose to itself and felt no need to mention it to the gaggle. Upon returning to the flock and asked “Where have you been?” the goose would simply reply “Just by the cotton field.” It had been well-known that this particular goose liked cotton fields. It was also known that this goose was a bit disconnected with its own flock.

Of course, the goose’s secret would not be that much of a secret for long. Just as the goose was enjoying a quiet afternoon, a crane flew in, partly attracted to the pond, partly curious as to why there was only one goose in the pond. Again, I do not know the name of the crane, nor do I know if it’s a boy or girl. “Where’s your flock?” asked the crane. “By the west side of the lake, as they should be. I have no intention of telling them about the pond, and I suggest you do the same with your flock.” The crane looked around and understood why the goose wanted to keep it a secret. “Can I, at least, join you here?” The goose nodded, enjoying the idea of companionship.

A few days passed, and the goose and the crane got along quite well. They would talk about the pond, they would talk about the fish. The goose would talk about cotton fields while the crane would talk about life as a crane. Little did they know that another would join them.

What ya doin’? Where’s your flock?” It was a lone duck. There are just too many ducks in this world and they all look alike to me, hence I do not know the name nor the gender of the duck. The crane obliged the inquiry “Just enjoying the pond. Well, the gaggle of geese are by the lake while my flock of cranes are standing within the reed beds, as they should be. We have no intention of telling them about the pond, and I suggest you do the same.” Despite the discomfort of not mentioning the pond to its flock, the duck agreed …”but only if I get to come here as well.” The goose and the crane agreed and, somehow, the goose had a feeling that the circle was complete, that “This is it. These two will be here with me for a long time.”

For a time, things were good. Fishes were as abundant as stories shared, which for these birds can be a lot since they do talk a lot. Well, maybe not the goose. The goose went on talking about cotton fields. The crane discussed the myriad complexities of crane life and the duck constantly talked about duck escapades “…or as we ducks call ’em, howards.” People worry about big things like politics, religion, social sciences, mathematics, quantum mechanics, relationships, and, therefore, might find such discussions to be trivial, for but for birds, they are a source of bewilderment and wonder, talking constantly for hours about cotton fields, crane life and howards.

Personally, such simplicity is quite enviable. But not all is simple in the animal world. A goose is still a goose and is obligated to the flock.

The gaggle had caught word of another lake further out west, one with abundant fish but lesser shareholders to the lake’s stock. Also, it was general knowledge that the new lake had the most maginificent cotton field, one that would make any admirer of cotton fields cry with joy. Our goose, naturally, wanted to stay but duty and desire called and so, visited the pond one last time. “No matter what happens, stay true to the agreement.”

And so, the goose joined the flock in the new lake, and did as goose would do. But the goose’s mind would simply wander off, wondering about his companions and the pond. Our goose missed the oddness of it all, how three different birds with nothing in common shared moments in the pond. More importantly, our goose missed the escapism of the pond, the comfort it gave. In this new lake, the fishes were abundant, but the fish did not seem to taste so good. The other geese would disagree so perhaps our goose’s opinion was somewhat tainted.

Alas, the goose remained in the new lake. Over time, the goose eventually came to appreciate the new surroundings. The fish started to taste better, the air started to feel fresher. And while there was nothing that would talk about the ways of the cranes, nor the howards of ducks, there were other geese who had eccentricities of their own. Some geese, apparently, would enjoy looking at cloud formations through the reflection in the water. While others would re-enact the popular goose classic acts like “Mon Goose: The Snake-Killing Goose”, “There It Goose Again” and “Duck Ducked Goose”.

I do not exactly know the details about these things for I am not a goose.

Months passed and the goose had set aside his thoughts about the pond. That, however, did not exactly mean that they were forgotten nor would these memories choose to be forgotten. The goose found a cotton field to admire, and would gladly visit it everyday. It reminded the goose of the pond and the crane and the duck, and what they told the goose before leaving.

Tell us about the cotton fields when you get back.”



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