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The Carletonian

What to do when confronted by a (slightly pissed off) goose

<sn’t ready to go. Not yet.  Not like this.
I stood shaking, with my eyes locked on his.
He hissed and bobbed his head back and forth.
I winced and took the biggest gulp of my life.
In front of me stood a very large, very fluffy, and VERY mad male goose.  

Record scratch. Freeze frame Yup, that’s me.  You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation.

It all started when I decided to take a detour on my route back to Burton from the rec.  It was warm out – a perfect spring day.  The birds were chirping, the sun was shining, and I had JUST stepped in some goose poop on the path to the islands.  Yep, perfect day.
As I marched on, goose poop and all, I suddenly began to notice the gaggle of geese that was milling around with their fluffy little goslings in tow.  At the time, all I could think about was how cute the babies were, and how I had read somewhere that geese mated for life and if that was truly the case, that was the coolest thing ever because it was kind of like a real family with a Mom and Dad and a few cousins and…
My thoughts were abruptly interrupted when I suddenly realized I had crossed paths with a Canadian goose.
Scratch that.  A BIG Canadian goose.
Eight tiny goslings waddled behind him.  The goose hissed at me, and I started to back away.  Oh man was he angry. His feathers were ruffled.  Our eyes were locked, and I knew if I looked away, my perfect spring day would go from 100 to 0 real quick.
My instincts told me to run, but the more I thought about it, I realized it was not the move (And also that I couldn’t move because I was literally frozen in place).   
We probably stood there for two solid minutes before the goose decided either I wasn’t worth his attention (I really wasn’t) or that his family was leaving, and he needed to catch up.  When he finally reached the water, I turned around and sprinted back to the main path.  I wasn’t about to take my chances with an even more pissed off goose.
After my (wild!!) experience, I decided to research a little bit to determine what to do if I was ever confronted by another goose. Here’s some advice:

1.  Geese can sense fear.  Try to look more confused than terrified when you’re confronted by a goose. Like the face you’d give to your professor when you find out that ten pager was really due today and not two weeks from now.
2.  DO NOT BREAK EYE CONTACT. You might have been the staring contest champ back in seventh grade, but let me tell you, a goose will give your title a run for its money.
3.  Don’t throw anything at the goose, don’t yell at the goose, don’t offend him in anyway.  No smack talk either.  Just stay calm and breathe normally.
4.  If the goose starts to hiss, you can slowly start to walk backwards. SLOWLY. Do not turn your back on him.  Do not run at him.  Do not pass go and do not collect 100 dollars. Oh, and don’t forget to maintain eye contact.
5.  Once you get far enough away from the goose, hightail your booty out of there…watch out for the goose poop, though.

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