Last year at this time, we had a wild turkey problem. To be more exact, last year about a week before now, we’d had a problem. A couple of wild turkeys of Godzilla-like proportions had terrorized my town, marching down the center of the main street, gobbling defiantly and bringing traffic to a complete halt. Then they relocated to my backyard, gobbled defiantly and pooped all over my back deck. Finally they disappeared right before Thanksgiving. I assumed they instinctively knew that sticking around could land them on a platter next to some stuffing and cranberry sauce, so they took off. However, before that happened, they spent a month lingering in my backyard like they owned the place. I repeatedly reminded them that the mallard couple that comes to swim in our pool every summer actually have the lease on the backyard, but the turkeys must have figured it was a timeshare and they could have the place for the fall.
I am not really a fan of turkey over duck, except when it is on my plate. However, I have to say, if I had to choose live ducks over live turkeys, I’d go with the ducks. Duck poop in the pool is nasty. Turkey poop on the back deck is worse. I will spare you the details, but suffice to say, in terms of size and frequency, the turkeys win it, wings down.
This year, we had the ducks, but no turkeys. As we got closer to Thanksgiving, I thought we had dodged that poultry bullet. But then one morning I woke up to a cacophony of honking and realized we had a new visitor: a goose. Many geese, actually. Canadian geese. And they were all over my backyard.
I’m not sure what it is about our yard that is so attractive to birds. We do not put out food for them and we have not been federally designated as a bird sanctuary. Yet here we were on our third round of bird visitors and I was getting a little tired of being a popular layover for the feathered jet set.
This time the issue was not just the mess, but the noise. I never realized just how loud geese are until a dozen of them started congregating in our backyard. As someone who works from home, I was less than thrilled with the sudden onslaught of goose chatter outside and decided it was time to talk turkey with the geese and get them to fly the coop.
“You know, we could just as easily have goose for Thanksgiving dinner as Turkey,” I informed them threateningly.
They didn’t budge. Apparently they knew this was an empty threat because I could not, for the life of me, cook a decent turkey, much less a goose.
“I have a big dog inside with big teeth and he likes to chase geese!” I yelled at them. They kept honking. Apparently they had heard from the ducks that our dog was a chicken.
I finally decided the only way to get rid of the geese was to beat them at their own game. I left the backyard, jumped into my car, pulled up to the fence and leaned on the horn repeatedly.
The geese took off. Triumphantly I got out of the car. But then my neighbor appeared.
I forgot he worked from home, too.
“Who’s honking?” he asked.
I shrugged innocently. “Geese?”