Their necks, like thick snakes, reached up past our shoulders. They thrashed at us with hissing open beaks, their strong wings flapping us back toward the car. We complied.
The owner came out, and by way of apology, explained, “Geese are better guards than dogs: no one’s going to bribe a goose.”
Mama and I saw shades of more than one Hitchcock movie, and our visit was short.
Hitchcock does bear some of the blame. The fear he stirred up in “The Birds” comes to mind whenever I see one of the Canadian geese on the running path stomp its foot firmly on the dirt, the web spreading under its weight like a prehistoric fan, neck tensing like a cobra, beady eye in a swinging head as I run by, my heart racing faster than I ever could move.
This morning Father Goose stood in the middle of the path like a bully looking for a fight. I took a deep breath, clapped my hands, and ran by.
Yeah, I’ll take a dog any day.