Day of Challenge: Day Four
Date: 17 June 2010
Location: Greeley, Colorado
The first half of 2010 is the only time in my life that I held down a real full-time job. I really did not enjoy it. It is why I have stitched together a life that does not require me to work full time while maintaining a good living. There was one upside to working in an office full-time—meeting people. I worked for the 2010 Census. The office had almost 100 full-time employees at its peak. I became friends with all the people my age who worked there—along with several older employees.
There were three female employees my age who worked in the office. Over the course of 2010, I pursued two of them. The real challenge was pushing the friendship outside of work. After a few months of flirting with a slightly younger girl, I was finally able to do it. During work, it started pouring rain outside. We started talking about how we hated working fulltime because we would love to go play in the rain. We agreed to go meet at a park after work (we clocked out of work half an hour apart from each other).
We met at Glenmere Park. I got there first and walked around while I waited for her. As I made my way around the lake, I realized something weird was happening. All of the geese out in the lake were being very loud. They weren’t just being lazy and floating around the lake like they usually do. Instead, they had surrounded something floating in the water. I got as close to the edge of the water near the geese and watched. What I saw was insanely disturbing.
The geese had surrounded a severely injured goose. The injured goose was having a hard time holding its head above the water. Every few seconds, one of the other geese would start biting the injured goose and try to hold him underwater. There were probably eight of them trying to kill this injured goose. I never did figure out why they were acting that way towards the goose. I assume they were trying to put him out of his misery or he had done something against the Goose Code.
Eventually, the goose got onto land. The bully geese still had him surrounded and kept attacking him. I could see the injured goose much better above water. Something was wrong with his neck. He had a hard time holding up his head. I tried a couple times to make the bully geese go away. I didn’t try very hard because geese are fucking scary.
That’s when my friend showed up. I explained what had been happening. Without saying a thing, she ran towards the geese, screaming. All the bully geese scattered. The injured goose didn’t move. She sat down next to the goose and tried to comfort it. I stayed next to her and watched. For the next 15 minutes or so, we tried to call someone who could help. The pound directed us to the wildlife people. The wildlife people said they couldn’t do anything.
That’s when I learned that my friend lived out on a farm several miles out of town. Since no one was going to help the goose, we decided we would. We wrapped the goose in blankets and carried it back to her car. I kept the goose in my lap and pet it as my friend drove us to her farm. By the end of the drive, the goose didn’t look so bad. I think we even named him…although I do forget his name. It was a bit of a surreal experience holding onto such a large and frightening animal.
The injured goose survived and stayed on the farm for several months. My friend and I had a bit of a falling out—so I never learned the fate of the injured goose. But it was a great drive. Holding a large bird in my lap and trying to get him to calm down is not something you get to do every day. He was quite a beautiful animal.