This time of year, it’s common to see geese flying overhead, returning north to their summer breeding grounds. There are a couple of slightly uncomplimentary sayings related to geese: “being on a wild goose chase,” and “silly goose.” But actually Geese are very respect-worthy creatures.
For one, Geese are extremely loyal. They mate for life and if a goose is injured while migrating, its mate or a family member will go down with it and guard it until it either recovers or dies. (I witnessed this a couple years ago by the river in Wausau, WI. A goose with a severely injured leg had made its way there, its companion at its side. I never found out what happened to them.)
Canada Geese are amazing parents and work together as a team to raise the young. The female does most of the incubating, while the male stands guard a little ways away. If you wander anywhere near a goose nest you will know it. First, the male will honk the alarm – and it is LOUD! If that doesn’t keep you away he will then hiss and flap his wings in an unmistakably threatening manner. If you are too stupid to pay attention, prepare to be attacked. Don’t laugh – geese may not look dangerous but they can bite hard and they mean business!
During incubation the male will drive away all other birds but once the brood of 2-9 goslings is hatched they relax their vigilance and may band together with other goose families to share the gosling care. If a goose couple is neglectful of their young a more experienced pair may kidnap the youngsters and raise them with their own brood.
Wild geese are of course best known for their migration habits. They are strong fliers and also very cooperative, drafting each other and taking turns in the lead.
So, Goose is a fabulous symbol of marital fidelity, strong family values, protectiveness, and cooperation. They also can represent teamwork and the willingness to work hard towards a common goal.
Geese are also very vocal. The Canada Goose, our most common North American native wild goose, has a distinctive white chin strap, highlighting the throat area. (In healing circles, the throat is the communication center.) Goose people are likely to be vocal, and to use their communication skills in ways that benefit society.
Has Goose flown into your life? Share your experiences in the comments box below!
photo credit: Lone goose via photopin (license)