When I was in Junior High in San Augustine, Texas back in the late 1940s, I had an acceptable mode of transportation to and from school – a Schwinn Bicycle. Our home was only about ¾ mile from the school, so it was a good way for me to get to school, especially since the trip was downhill from the house.
We never met officially, this white goose and I, but he became my nemesis on the way to school every day. Actually there were two of them in the yard, but only this one seemed to hate me.
The first time he attacked me on my bicycle I was shocked. A mad goose is pretty intimidating to a 13-year-old boy, and they can bite a plug out of your leg. So, I had to take defensive measures. From then on I would get up a good speed going by this goose’s house, then put my feet up on the handlebars and coast by. The attacker could not reach my feet or legs and just flailed at the wheels. I hoped that the goose would get its beak stuck between the spokes of my bicycle – would serve him right.
I then decided that the goose was mad at the bicycle, and not me. So, I decided to walk to school so there would be no reason for the attack. This did not work either, as the goose charged me, head down, wings spread wide, in full attack mode. I had been told by some smart upper-classmen that I should not show any fear, just stand my ground. Well, that did not work either as I had to fight him off with my books. The goose owner never seemed to care whether his goose attacked me or not.
Eventually, my father began to allow me to drive his old pick up truck to school when I got my drivers license at age fourteen. I kept hoping that the mad goose would charge the truck so I could extract revenge, but he must have been on to my plan. He never charged the truck.
Pretty soon, the white goose became just a bad memory as I pursued other things at school. Thinking back now, I never even noticed when the goose went away for good, perhaps as a Thanksgiving meal, or killed in some roadside mishap. At any rate, he did make for a nice remembrance. If only I had taken a picture of him, but I would have needed a “speed graphic” camera to catch him in his attack mode.
“DON’T GOOSE ME”
BY: NEAL MURPHY
107 Hemlock Street
PO Box 511
San Augustine, TX 75972