We took advantage of yesterday's beautiful weather and fired up the engine on the houseboat, went out on the lake, tied up to a tree, and gloried in the springtime temperatures that are so long overdue.
While sitting up on top of the boat, drinking my drink of choice - Captain Morgan's on ice with a twist - two Canadian Geese came swimming up to the boat, looking for handouts. I retrieved some bread from the galley - because geese generally prefer it over marshmallows - went back up on top, and began tossing small chunks to the shameless little feather-necked beggars.
Now, anyone with a good eye can tell when a goose is thirsty. It became obvious after a few pieces of bread had disappeared down those gullets that these two would really appreciate something to wash the dry crusts down. Hell, I've been there, who hasn't?
I didn't have much to offer, but I did have my bottle o’ The Cap'n, and being an optimist, it was more than half-full. I'm also a sharing, sympathetic sort, and a bird-lover besides, so I began soaking the bread crusts in good spiced rum, and tossing them over the side of the boat. Kept a good eye out for the water patrol, of course - lake cops generally frown on this sort of thing.
For those of you who don't already know, geese are mean drunks. Belligerent. Noisy. It's not pretty. Poor sharers, too, greedy and self-centered. Get a few drinks in them, and you can really start to read the personality of a goose. I began to think that perhaps these geese were Irish, and only claimed Canadian heritage.
I didn't have any bar snacks to offer, peanuts or popcorn or anything like that. In truth, I did have some pickled eggs, but I decided no, it would not be socially appropriate. These were geese, after all. Although the birds themselves were pretty well hammered at this point, as a sensitive host I decided that giving pickled bird eggs to pickled geese would just be in poor taste - however humorously ironic that might seem to you and me.
Besides, it was obvious that these two just wanted to drink. The more rum-soaked bread I gave them, the more they became as loose as their axiomatic namesakes.
The fine afternoon ended as all fine afternoons must. When it was time to call it a day, we sailed off toward the dock. And the well-greased geese? They sailed off to the south.
By north, by east, by northwest, by south, by northsouth.
OK, this story is not entirely true. I know when a goose has had enough. After they began picking fights with passing jetskis, I put them both on the wagon. Which should have been preferable, from their perspective, to being put on the grill.
Internally basted or not.
Ted Thompson is a freelance writer (available for hire) living in Harrison, Arkansas More of his works can be seen at his website http://www.phfft.com