Monday, May 25, 2009

Goosed

I've decided to put more effort into losing a few pounds. I've been taking tough weight-training classes twice a week since November. I'm stronger than ever and I realized that, buried under about 8 pounds of flab, are a lot of rather awesomely toned new muscles. So I've started power-walking and jogging along the Charles a few times a week (in addition to the long regular walks I take a few times a week). The river is just 3 blocks from our apartment, and I've always regretted I rarely get over there to enjoy it. So I do a 4-mile loop, between the Harvard Bridge and the Science Museum. It takes an hour and it's an easy way to work out, enjoy nature, and think about stuff at the same time. 

Thinking turns out to be a problem: I get distracted and don't always pay attention to where I'm going. I'm also busy noticing cormorants, gulls, bird guano, malicious tree roots sticking up from the path, and boats. So, twice now, I've nearly been attacked by a furious, hissing Canada goose because I accidentally jogged too close to his or her gosling. 

You can't reason with a goose, but I really don't think I'm to blame if that gosling is camouflage-colored and sitting on dirt. Instead of trying to put a hole in my leg, Mother Goose, why don't you park your young on the grass so we can see and avoid them? I do try to keep clear of them but their markings are so clever that they practically disappear — unless there's a big group. I've counted up to 20 goslings in one gaggle [stupid term; it's a flock, for crying out loud]. 

So much for those zealous teams of goose-egg poppers armed with darning needles that go hunting for nests every spring. Heck of a job on the population control so far....

Anyway, I realized today that things have gotten to the point where, when I see a goose just looking in my direction, I get nervous and have to change my route to avoid it. I've been trained by those nasty birds. I can't wait for those goslings to grow up and help their parents pass their citizenship tests and learn some manners. Or just go back north where they belong.

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