Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Wild Goose Chase

Now I'm not sure whose idea the "Chasing the Wild Goose" Event was. But it wasn't mine, and it's not happening again.

As ever, that presumption that a bunch of hairy Celts hanging onto the edges of Britain somehow knew all about spirituality is the root of the problem. That and the assumption that a Celtic (allegedly) term is somehow deep and meaningful almost by definition - ignoring the historical fact that Celts were best known for going into battle naked and dying their hair blond(e).

So after the other week's dove-related debacle, something like this was always bound to happen.

Canada Geese don't like being rounded up. And they're apt to try and mug you on the off-chance you've got some bread. Oh - and, quite important, this - they get edgy in confined surroundings.

When the decision was made to swtich this morning's gathering from Duckhenge to the Moot House, due to the threatening weather, we shouldn't have been surprised by the way things went. People being chased in circles, geese flying at your throat, feathers flying in all directions - and it was the feathers made it worse, as needless to say Edith Weston turned out to be allergic to them and went into an eruption of sneezing. This further enraged the geese, who promptly mobbed Burton - presumably on the grounds that he's the one looks most like a badger.

Eventually I managed to shut the sluice, and flooded the Moot House. The geese swam off back to the pond, and the whole event calmed down. Next time someone wants a water-fowl-related activity, I suggest we follow the advice of the Good Book. Go down to the pond, and cast our bread on the waters.


  1. I'm willing to bet that no one can give a pre 19th c. reference to Celtic Christians using the wild goose as a symbol for the Holy Spirit.
    All spare feathers gratefully received (if large enough) for my whip making.

  2. Got all excited then, thought this was about "Winchester Geese" nudge, nudge, wink, wink..

  3. Nice one Steve.
    Sorry to disappoint. My whips are the traditional carriage driving type. The market for the other kind is undercut by a convent of French nuns who dispatch each one with a prayer as they assume they will be used for self-mortification. Well perhaps the are.....

  4. The key to successful goose management is an open umbrella


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