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  • Writer's pictureLittle Thoughts Press

The Winter Gosling by Elijah Pierrou


Two turtles on the edge of a pond
(via Wix media)

 

They were coming. Cracking. Breaking. Opening up to reveal the gosling inside. But then there was a chit-chit…human chatter, advancing, getting closer to mother goose - she ran toward the human. Just then, the first egg opened. The newborn watched as the first living thing she saw was at battle. There was a loud hammer hitting the primer, and mother did not return. The echo of the gun caused no other eggs to hatch.

Daydreaming…but it was real. Her mother and siblings were no more. Her poor little baby eyes and head couldn’t understand. And the only thing she knew how to do was swim and eat berries. This was all life was. Right?

The tree shapes and the ground were her only landmarks. Exploration was a good thing, right? Either way, this goose was to have a bigger map. About an hour later, the little gosling heard a familiar Squawk! Honk! Quack!

“Run to the pond!” she thought, but it was another way. The little goose waddled on over to a river she had never seen before. On this particular river, everything was moving: the birds, the fish, the clouds, and even the water, but the geese were in a big flock heading in one direction. Last week, when the gosling hatched, the leaves and ground were a whole lot different. Now they were a yellowish orange. There was a chilled breeze over the mountain forest.

There were less and less animals in their habitats. She stayed at the river for a few weeks and hung out with the river animals. The owls slept, the stellar jay taught her how to get acorns, the hawk taught the gosling to fish, the mouse told her about winter, hibernation, migration, and the fox taught the young goose how to stay away from predators - they’re all around. This was going to be a great winter!

Three months later, December came, and the first snow was upon the forest. The fish were quiet. The acorns were all collected and the mouse’s stories came true. The predators were gone and owls kept on sleeping.

Our gosling was waddling along to go see what hawks did in the winter (a strange thing to see a winter hawk). She hadn’t been to Hawk’s perch in a few months, too much winter preparation. But then, almost past by the gosling in the snow was a barge of mouse footprints. Mouse was active! On her way to the mouse burrow, the gosling’s feet were starting to feel the winter cold.

When the gosling arrived at the mouse hole, she was surprised. Mouse seemed to have multiplied! One of them, (probably the original mouse) stepped up and said, “Welcome, young goose,” that was Mouse’s name for Gosling. “Meet my brothers, my sisters, my first and second cousins, my nephew, my nieces (pant, pant), my Mum, my Dad, their mums and dads, and my great grandfather who goes by Pop.

Goose blinked twice with her mouth open in awe.

“Ummmm…” awkwardly croaked the goose, “Nice to meet all of you!”

The mice and the goose barely get along. Mouse’s brothers and sisters were very connected to birds and pulled off stray feathers and put them on their heads as if to pretend to be Robin Hood. The wee ones (the nieces and nephews) made a slide out of the gosling’s neck and upper back and tried to jump the last part. They all needed an extra social skills class except for Pop. The young goose was observing so she didn’t notice the cheese crumbles she was about to slip on.

Our gosling had always thought that owls just slept. Except for today (to the future, this is just a part of the story). Today the mission was to bravely wake the owls and wreck their sleep—only for today.

She made her young, annoying, juvenile, immature loud honks directly toward the owls’ nest. The mission was a success! A little owl came out, and said, “Hooo woke us up?”

“It was me. I woke you up,” said a squeaky voice on the ground. The owl hopped from branch to lower branch until she was face-to-face with the goose.

“Why have yooou woken us up?” said the little owl, gloomily again.

“Why do owls have to sleep all day?”

“We doooon’t. And I’ll show you!” The owl hobbled onto a dry spot on the ground where there was a small twig.

“Watch,” said the young owl with pride. She put one of her talons lightly on one side of the twig, and with a violent down press, the stick went flying into the air. The owl caught it with her beak.

“Tricks,” said the owl happily.

The goose tried a few times, and always missed because of the way her beak was shaped. By the time the goose completed the twig trick, the owl was in her perch. “Tricks,” thought the gosling.

The steller jay was trying to find squirrel’s nest to steal acorns - while goose was at the moose party, the squirrel was blocking Jay’s food and stealing the final acorns for himself. So revenge was strongly believed in the stellar jay nest.

Meanwhile, the gosling was looking for the stellar jay. She was practicing flying for next winter. To hang out with the other geese and fly over the pond, like the other birds. Like the hawk.

The stellar jay saw Goose. Goose saw the stellar jay. Said the stellar jay, “You must be cold on the snowy ground.”

“Yes,” said the goose, “That is what I came here for. Would you be able to teach me how to fly?”

The jay was starting to hatch a plan. “Okay. I’ll teach you. We’ll team up on the squirrel.”

“Why?” asked the goose.

“Cause he steals food. Even food he doesn’t eat! So we start now,” said the jay. Let’s go!”



 

Elijah Pierrou is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. He is homeschooled and has a love for birds and the wild. He also enjoys designing cars, art, drumming, and a newfound hobby: taekwondo. He would definitely go to Italy as soon as the opportunity presented itself.

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