Thursday, January 15, 2009

Goose Creek

by Jim Parks

It was such a startling thing to happen under the overcast winter skies of the rice fields and the levees.

We little men came across the mound of the flood control project and up the muddy bank when suddenly we saw the huge snow goose hunkered down in obvious pain.

The honking began immediately as the creature swiveled and kept its tail to us, challenging any and all to come at it. It must have had a broken wing or some infirmity, all alone and as frightened as any such creature may be.

You never saw them up close. Usually you heard them on bitter cold sunny days miles high in the sky honking and keeping to their V formations. Sometimes they came sailing in at dark to light in the ponds and marshes out in that part of town where they kept the land covered with scrubby trees and the courses of waterways and terraces to absorb the flash floods in the swampy areas contained by the huge levees and flood gates.

We stood around on one foot and another, making comments, feeling deeply for the big bird we knew would die. No one wanted to bother it. No one wanted to leave, but soon we did, letting our little prepubescent legs carry us away while the bird honked at us furiously.

We were little men. Sad little men, but little men nonetheless.

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