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by grotto
Rated: E · Fiction · Contest · #2221599
write a story or poem about being a mother - but NOT to a human child.
Gorgeous watched her somewhat better half gliding about the pond while she sat somewhat comfortably on her bed of sticks and leaves keeping a gaggle of eggs warm when she sensed a somewhat unfamiliar scent about her.

She was a Canadian Goose by birth and her nature to mate for life for better for worse. Her mate, aptly named Handsome, was a good mate though he did things that came naturally, that she didn’t always understand. His instincts told him to allow her to peck at the grass first and to stand guard behind her while she did it. He also had a sense of protection and chased away other males who swam too close. But like most male animals he had a will to wonder.

So, it was no surprise that he was off about the pond coordinating with the other males most of the time while she tended the nest. This somewhat bothered her, but in truth, she knew there wasn’t much else he could do and he never did travel away very far. She lost a leg some years ago to some careless fishing line and so she was grateful to have him. Shifting her position and pulling some feathers out from under her breast, she stood up for a moment to improve her circulation.

Once again, that uneasy odor drifted past her nares in the still small breeze. Uneasy, she felt nervous and a sick feeling came on, she called out to Handsome. He sensed her distress and dutifully, he tucked his head down and made a bee line straight for the nest turning up a small wake in his path. As he approached, she became distracted by dull thudding sounds coming from the nest.

It all happened at once, baseball sized eggs popping like hot corn in oil. They both stared in amazement as they’d never seen anything like this before, all their brood began to hatch at the same time! Within a few minutes there were four little baby geese covered in shell pieces working to stand on their twig like legs. Little legs topped with a yellow-greenish fuzz ball. They weren’t all together quiet either. Almost immediately, the air was filled with the sound of little high-pitched peeps peeping all around. It caused quite a stir on the pond, and before long the whole flock was attending to see what all the commotion was about.

Gorgeous had her instincts too, they kicked in right away as she spread her wings as wide as she could, arching up into the sky. Sweeping in all the babies, she closed her wings down on top of them and shuffled them close to her bosom where she knew they’d be safe and warm. The muffled sounds of peep-peep-peeping peeping all around surround her nest. She rested, but not easily as she remembered the scent from before.

She called out to handsome, dusk was setting in, “Handsome, there something afoot you know? You’ll need to be on guard tonight.” She said. “You sensed it too?”, he replied. Proudly he said, “I will guard this nest with the full force of my pinching beak and the mighty strength of my wings!” He put his head up in the air and moved it up and down and back and forth fiercely like a war dance.

“Handsome, listen to me carefully. You are a proud goose and I love you dearly, but you cannot defeat this foe alone. With my leg missing, I will be of no use to you and all I can do is shelter these babies under my wings. Please go and rally more males that can stay close by tonight – only those without goslings. Hurry it will be dark soon!”, she said.

With that he glided off across the water and landed up on the bank across the pond. He made the loudest honking call with his head moving more fiercely than ever. When they demanded to know what all the fuss was about, he explained and they seemed reluctant at first. Handsome said, “Listen to that sound… do you hear it?” With all the commotion no one can hear a thing one of the geese spoke up. With that everyone settled down and started to listen. All that could be heard was the peep-peep-peeping of the babies under momma’s wing.

One elderly goose spoke up and said, “Ah, that sound of little peeping babies is so dear, but unfortunately it can sound like a dinner bell to those nasty foxes!”

Without another word, the best and strongest males swam over and went to work setting up a defensive barrier around Gorgeous’ nest and her sleeping little babies.
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