All That Glitters Is Not Gold

An unexpected visitor leaves a lasting impression

By Barbara Rosson Davis

Illustration By Harry Blair

Dogwoods and Azaleas were in full bloom. Robins tweaked worms from my just-tilled garden plot. As my son hurried off to school, I heard him yell, “Mom! Heads up — there’s a big goose in the bathroom!” I thought he was joking. We didn’t have a pet goose and this wasn’t some kind of secret “emergency-code.” I went inside to investigate the situation. We had previously dealt with a black snake in the toilet bowl, a bat in the fireplace and a rabbit in the carport, but a goose in the bathroom?

As I opened our guest bathroom door, I discovered not the Golden Goose, but a large Canada goose, staring into the toilet bowl. I decided he must have gotten in through the slit in the patio-screen, wandered through the open kitchen door and, curiously, ended up in the bathroom, where Matt, as boys will do, had left the toilet seat up.

I wanted to lure this wild fowl out of the house, but our “guest goose” was fierce and attacked me with each attempt. After a tumultuous evening of Mr. Goose’s distress signals coming from the bathroom, Matt tried feeding him couscous. I feebly attempted coaxing our feathered guest out of the bathroom with my ridiculous imitation goose calls. No luck. Flustered and terrified, the goose continued squawking, honking and flapping. The next day, we noticed that “guest goose” grew agitated at certain times — near dusk and in the early morning.

I thought about calling animal rescue, but the sounds of geese flying over the house gave me a better idea. I noticed that local geese flew early in the morning from their nesting area to feed at Sedgefield golf course, returning to their roost at the end of the day, after grazing. I thought: Just maybe, Mr. Goose wants to rejoin his flock. If I could get him outside at those times, he might then join his fellow geese. The following morning, before sunrise, and protected by Matt’s trusty Lacrosse helmet, arm-guards and gloves, I managed to open the bathroom window from the outside. I peered in. The goose seemed calm.

I went back inside the house to find “guest goose” had instantly transformed itself into a boisterous beast, flapping and crashing around the bathroom, seeking escape through the open window. After several attempts, he finally launched his feathered frame airborne, honking loudly as he flew off in pursuit of the flock.

Free at last! His victory was not without consequences for us earthbound mortals. I entered the bathroom to find total chaos: a sprawling, stinking mess! The bathtub was littered with grain, feathers, shampoo and the foulest greenish “goose-goo,” as was the tile floor, counter, sink, and toilet. Where to start?? I held my nose and considered replacing the entire bathtub.

Jars of creams, bottles of cologne, mouthwash and the contents of a spray can of glitter were everywhere. The toilet seat, shower curtain, tub and tile floor sparkled with glitter. Too exhausted after two days of dealing with this rambunctious and uninvited guest, I couldn’t begin to fathom the clean-up campaign for this fowl’s foul-aftermath.

Later that evening, returning from playing golf, my neighbor told me about the most extraordinary phenomenon he had witnessed on the golf course: “I saw this glittering goose grazing the greens, shimmering in the sunlight! Amazing!” OH

Barbara Rosson Davis is a freelance writer, living in Greensboro.

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