They’re Back

There I was, driving down the street next to my apartment building when I saw them, huddled at the curb, as if daring me to draw nearer. In fact, they chose that moment to saunter into the street. My heart sank and I slammed on the brakes. As they crossed to the next curb, each turned and gave me a look as if to say, “Yeah. We made you stop. We can make you do whatever we like. And there’s nothin’ you can about it, ’cause we own this street. Mwahahahaha!!!!!”

Who are they? Canadian geese. They’d been away much of the summer. Now that the weather cooled down, they were back. Since I was driving, I couldn’t grab my phone to snap a photo of my own. I had to find one on the Internet.


Look at ’em. They’re plotting to walk in front of my car.

I don’t know why they usually feel the need to saunter into the street the moment they see my car. But whenever I see them, my attitude instantly shifts toward the negative. And they don’t have to do anything to merit my negativity. All they have to do is show up.

Ever feel that way? Not just about geese but about a person or a group? What about teens? I ask about them specifically, because sometimes, when I see a few geese sauntering down the street, I think of teens. This doesn’t mean that I have the same negative attitude toward teens as I’ve expressed about geese. But teens in my neighborhood, like geese, gather in groups in parks and on street corners. Many have an “I dare you to stop me” manner, as if they expect anyone they encounter, particularly an adult, to thwart them in some way. (Not all behave that way of course.)


Look at ’em. Waiting for the rest of the gaggle.

When I was a teen, I usually knew when adults had a negative attitude toward me, especially those I saw each day on the bus on my way to school or at the mall. Perhaps they had an expectation that my friends and I would be too loud or too impetuous or too _______ (fill in the blank). That attitude was usually expessed with a look that told me, Oh no. Teens. Why do they have to be here? As if they wished us 50 miles away.

Perhaps their attitude sprang from a bad experience with a teen or from a lack of understanding of teens, though they were teens themselves once. Perhaps suspicion has created a gap neither side has bridged.

You know, suddenly I’m reminded of my attitude toward the geese. My jaded attitude comes from dodging geese in the road or dodging their poop in parks. But my attitude says more about me than about the geese, doesn’t it? Even if I think I’m justified, am I really?

The day I saw the geese, I was impatient to get to my destination. The geese happened to get in my way. I felt that my desire to get where I was going was more important than their desire to cross the street. When their rights coincided with mine, intolerance was the result.

So, I know what I need to do. I need to deal with my own issue, instead of blaming the geese. Yes, they’re back as they usually are at this time of year—just in time to remind me that patience and tolerance are virtues I can cultivate.


Are you lookin’ at me? Honk if you are.

Canadian geese from Wikipedia and elsewhere on the Internet. Sims FreePlay teens from


24 thoughts on “They’re Back

    • Yes, I brake for geese and squirrels. I think the weather is affecting squirrels, because usually they’re a little more cautious about darting across busy streets. But lately, I’ve seen many dead squirrels in the roads.

  1. I think every generation is cautious or negative of the younger ones. Somehow we forget what we were like at that age or see new habits that make no sense. For example, I really don’t get the obsession with selfies since it seems extremely narcissistic and pointless.

    Anyway, the really issue here is geese. I hate them. They ruled my college campus and would walk in front of cars, buses, and people. This could make you late for class. Then there was the mess on the sidewalks and they would attack people. They were vicious and nobody was allowed to keep a dog on campus to scare them off. Does nothing in nature eat these loud, messy, berserk creatures?

    • We have coyotes in this area. I would have thought coyotes would eat geese. Maybe geese are too mean.

      Yeah, I see a lot of people who keep taking selfies. It is a rather bizarre fad.

      • Geese are incredibly mean.

        I think I read somewhere that people who take selfies have been diagnosed with a mental disorder. Not sure if it was real or a joke. Definitely sounds like a joke.

  2. You’re lucky your geese leave for a period of time, L. Marie. We are invaded by them year around. They’ve taken over parking lots and cross major highways causing accidents. Our golf course has some dogs to try and chase them away, but they always come back and make a mess for us to step in. 😦
    I don’t remember traveling in a pack as a teenager, normally it was me and a friend or two. Now, they are in packs with there noses buried into their phones. Oh gosh, I sound old. 🙂

    • I know what you mean, Jill. When I was a teen, a friend or two and I would go places. But when I began to work with youth after college, I couldn’t go anywhere without eight or nine people wanting to go. And when I taught young teens, I generally had 20 students going places with me. Proms and homecoming dances are all huge group things now. Nieces and nephews go with groups of their friends.

      I’m glad the geese come and go. I’ve noticed some businesses who put up the dog-shaped signs to scare away the geese. But the geese never stay away for long.

  3. We have gangs / gaggles of geese here. They can be messy, noisy . . . and bossy! In MD we had packs of wild turkeys roaming around with a fierce look in their eyes. >:D

    • We also have wild turkeys. I saw two last month standing by the side of the road as if waiting for a bus. They made themselves scarce recently. Thanksgiving is coming up, so perhaps they’re hiding now.

    • There are plenty around here who do that. Though, there is a cat running around here too. I haven’t yet seen any encounters between the cat and the geese. They would be memorable, I’m sure.

  4. I was an annoying teen for 7 years, so I try to cut the current crop some slack. It’s the adults who act like emotionally immature, self-centered fools that draw my ire.

  5. Having seen gaggles of geese in recent days, I have to say I’ve missed them. I used to walk through flocks of them in my training for the Natchez Trace walk. They’re big, and they’re messy. But they made me feel strong, flying all that way for warmer weather.

    • Big and messy are two good adjectives for geese. Some trails are difficult to walk in my area because of the goose “residue.” But sometimes geese are nice to have around. I miss the ducks though. We used to have more ducks around before the geese moved in.

  6. Around here, squirrels and crows run in front of traffic. But they’re fast. You hardly have to slow down for them.

    Last week my daughter called me after a big scare. She was driving on the highway (at highway speed) and a deer ran across the road. Luckily, she had time to slow down, but then another deer followed the first one. And just when she thought she could relax, a third deer ran onto the road. I used to travel on a highway that had a fair number of deer-related accidents and a few deaths. I’m glad my daughter had nothing more than a scare.

    • Oh my goodness! How horrible for her! I used to travel to work on a road like that. In fact, I hit a deer on my way to work. I tried to stop, but the deer kept running toward my car. They really are very weird like that. So, I feel for your daughter!

  7. Your post reminds me of one reason I’m glad I don’t drive anymore 🙂 I live near the experimental farm in Ottawa and there always soooo many geese there. It’s quite a sight when they all take off together. However, this time of year I try to pretend I don’t hear them, otherwise it would mean I’ve accepted the fact that winter is just around the corner!

  8. There is hidden humor in your post. (Meanwhile the geese are protesting, holding signs that say, “Don’t Blame the Geese!” and “If You Can’t Waddle, Get Out of the Way!”)

    • Ha. I just saw a flock today in the street once again. They never learn! I guess they have the “grass is greener on the other side” mentality. What else could explain their insistence on crossing the street every time I get in the car??? Perhaps the grass on the curb across the street tastes better.

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