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Angry Ganders are Angry

Apropos of horizonchaser's metaquoted gander adventures, which led me to Hyperbole and a Half's "Dinosaur", I was moved to give some sage advice to Allie. (Comments there are moderated, so it may be a while before it shows up.) I reproduce it here for your delectation:

Angry geese are immensely scary. Unless you have a hockey stick. In which case they're silly because they're attacking the hockey stick and oh man, do they go to to town. Unless there are more of them than you have hockey sticks, in which case they're scary again.

My parents kept geese. At first they were adorable and fuzzy and liked to hang out under Dad's beard and nibble his eyelashes. Then they got big and they were still cute, but a lot featherier. Then the goose started laying eggs, and the gander turned into an asshole.

Hockey sticks by the door became a fact of life. I learned a lot of techniques for dealing with angry ganders.

Anything can make a gander angry. If you walk past, he gets pissed off. If you mess with his woman. If you mess with his woman's eggs, you're dead, but he'll only attack you after his woman is done killing you. If the feed bucket displeases him. If the wind is blowing wrong.

I would say, avoid taunting the angry gander, but if a gander's already angry, anything you do short of vanishing on the spot will make him angrier. If you back off, it will make him mad that you don't stay and fight like a man. If you just stand there, he gets mad that you're taunting him. If you advance, he gets good and mad because it's time for a fight.

Ganders fight with their wings, not just their fearsome serrated bills. They hold you in place, grinding you with their beaks, and then they start kicking you with their wings, and attempting to rend you limb from limb, or at least tear your clothes off you.

Never fight a gander while naked. I cannot stress this enough.

If you slide your foot under a gander, then launch him off the top of your foot like you would in a really smooth soccer trick (not kicking, more throwing with your feet) it startles him, and you may have time to run for it before he flies forward and catches up with you.

A gander can't grinch you if his bill is held shut, but he will try and flap. He can't flap at you if you're holding his wings down. He will, always, be able to shit on you. There is a reason they say "loose as a goose", and this is not because geese are adept at yoga. (Some of them might be. They're very good at a particular one-footed posture.)

Our gander took a liking to Mama, and tried to follow her everywhere. Including into her pottery shop. He had to stay outside, where he proceeded to shit all over the porch, and also to chew the temperature indicator off the little pottery kiln. So Mama had to call the manufacturer and order another one -- not the dial, but the metal piece that goes behind the dial and says where 'off', 'low', 'high', and 'incinerate everything' is. They laughed.

Crossposted. comment count unavailable comments.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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