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Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's a Small World After All

And full of Surprises

This is Mathilde (Tilly for short) our resident Goose

This is Mathilde's look.  Always on the alert.  See the quiet expression on Tillie's buddies?  Mathilde has ruled our pond for more than sixteen years

You might recall the story I told you when Tilly lost her friend Leopold.  She would not eat or drink for days, standing by the greenhouse and hoping that her own reflection in the glass was Leopold and that sooner or later he would come out.

Mathilde could not be consoled, which is strange because when Leopold was still alive Mathilde took every opportunity flirting with every goose that showed up on our pond.  The wild geese, who visited, where told where they could swim and where they could rest under the big elm tree.

source: Snow College

Not long ago I was teaching a "Historic Tiles Painting Workshop" in a remote Forest Service Camp.  The camp had been purchased by our local College and all forest cabins had been beautifully restored.  Among my group of students was a grandmother (not just any grandmother, but the Professor of Music, graduate of the Julliard School of Music, New York),  her two grown daughters and an eleven year old, charming little girl, her granddaughter. 

Because Tilly was grieving so for her Leopold we decided to find her a few pals.  She loved them all but decided that one beautiful, all white little goose, was her favorite and soon they became an item.  This little goose is very special.  Whenever we sit outside she comes over, turning her head this way and that, listening to our conversation.

What makes this little goose so special is that she was hand raised by an eleven year old girl. Yes, the same charming and talented little  girl who took my painting workshop.  She had named her little goose Violet. 

When we looked for Tillie's companions we found them at a distant farm.  At the time we only met one family member.   The little girl was too sad to come out of the house because she had hand raised Violet from the day she hatched out of the egg... "because she was sickly". 

What a small world after all!  

Violet has found a good home and a good partner.  They have raised many a group of sweet goslings.  

It is Mathilde who is the Father of our little goslings.  He is the most considerate mate and the most loving Caretaker you will ever meet.

This we didn't know for almost sixteen years. 



  1. Sigh....you have geese,,Mark has an ibis...I have fire ants!
    This story shows the true weaving of life! There are so many connections.

  2. What a sweet story!!! And what beautiful geese. I love the fact that you can recognize their individual personalities!!! And too funny about Mathilde being a boy!!! We once knew a boy cat named Sarah! Ha! Ha!

  3. Gina,
    I would have a hard time choosing between your home or Karin's (La Pouyette). They both are incredibly beautiful!


  4. I like a charming story with a happy ending. It reminded me of the pigeon our family raised when I was small. A neighbor boy shot his leg with a BB gun, and the leg had to come off. So my dad actually fashioned a little peg leg out of wood and it worked very well. We named the pigeon Walter and he became a favorite pet. A true story.

  5. What a trick! But your pictures are beautiful.

  6. I love this story, and I love your charming pictures. They remind me of a beautiful goose who took up residence in our rambling garden in Cape Town years ago - until we finally relocated him (with difficulty! have you ever tried catching a goose?) to the pond he'd strayed from. We named him Gordon, but after reading your story I wonder if he was really a Greta?

  7. Marvelous, marvelous story, Gina!! Terrific surprise ending! :) – g

  8. Dear Theresa, When we lived in the city we had a few ants in our kitchen...Gene would leave a little sugar for them now and then.

  9. Dear Barbara, Geese are so smart and they live to be forty or more. Sarah for a boy cat? I'm sure he was o.k. with it.

  10. Dear Ann, my house is not as far as Karin's. Or you can use mine for a stopover.

  11. Dear Mark, Love your Walter the pigeon story. How kind of your Dad to perform first aid.

  12. Hi Christine and Steven, Did you know that it is almost impossible to tell if a goose is male or female. And thanks for the compliment.

  13. Hi Karen, You never know with geese. Sometimes you have to wait and watch their behaviour. Love the name Gorden. Will reserve that name for one of our animals.

  14. Dear Georgianna, Animals love to teach us a few lessons, don't they. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  15. Great post. I'd love to have you link to Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  16. Hi Tablescaper, Thanks for visiting my blog and, also, thank you for the invitation.