Meet Walker the Goose…. the inspiration for my book, Walker The Goose: The Search For A Family.
Did you know that geese are the only animal that can fully imprint on humans? Imprinted geese do not know they are a goose. They think they are human. My Walker definitely thought she was a human. And not just any human. She thought she was my daughter.
Walker The Goose came to us from a rescue. Angel from Izzie’s Pond called me about taking some ducks that needed a home. With twelve acres of ponds and lots of room for ducks, I said yes. Angel asked me how I would feel about taking a Canadian Goose that is imprinted on people. Sure! Why not? And so Walker arrived at Huckleberry Farm.
Walker’s background is a bit sketchy and she *might* have gotten into some legal trouble. I’m not at liberty to discuss her past, but I can tell you that she is named after Walker, Texas Ranger. Walker she was when she got here, and Walker she stayed. And I immediately fell madly in love with my new goose.
If you’ve never had a goose best friend, you are missing out! Below are some pictures of Walker “helping” me around the farm or just being cute.
Walker absolutely loved to help me with my farm chores. She would fly next to the golf cart as I drove about the farm and always landed right in front of it. I almost ran her over so many times! Her landing needed some work. She loved cars and especially loved cars with shiny bumpers. Many hours were spent staring at her reflection in a shiny bumper.
She chased cars with the dogs and had her own bowl at feeding time.
She loved people but hated anything with wheels. Suitcases, vaccuums, skateboards… Walker hated them all. She would chase them with a lowered beak squawking her head off. She also didn’t not care for red shoes or little kids. Walker never liked my poor daughter. Jealousy? Perhaps.
She loved to help me garden. She especially loved to work in the vineyard. Walker would stand outside the door to my greenhouse when I worked in it and would patiently wait for me to finish. She loved to help me paint. She was a farmgirl through and through!
Walker also loved helping with the bees. She had no fear at all of them and would always be right in the middle of all beekeeping activity. But then, Walker was always in the middle of everything!
Walker desperately wanted to live in the house with the rest of the humans, but I never could talk my husband into that. Not even my idea of a goose diaper won him over. Since she couldn’t come in, she settled for staring in the windows. That didn’t make him happy either since she pooped all over the front porch, but I was okay with it. Seriously… how can you not love seeing that little face at the window?
I spent three wonderful years with Walker. Every spring she would fly away for a few weeks to nest. I would miss her terribly while she was away, but she always came back home… just in time go into molt and leave her feathers all over the farm. That girl was messy! Don’t even get me started on the poop!
Last fall, a male goose arrived at the farm. His mate came with him, but he lost complete interest in her when he fell in love with Walker. Walker, of course, wanted nothing to do with him since he was a goose and not a human. We named him Romeo.
Romeo followed Walker everywhere. Walker followed me everywhere. And every now and then, his first wife showed up and tried to win him back. She never succeeded. Romeo only had eyes for Walker. He didn’t care that she ignored him completely. He would stand guard over her all day and trail along behind her as she went about her farm business.
We all got used to Romeo hovering about. All was well until last spring when the time came for Walker to go nest. Romeo went with her. She never came back.
I like to think that she finally realized Romeo was the one for her and they had lots of babies together. Several months have passed since she was last here. I still hope and pray that I will see her again. Every morning I peek outside to see if Walker is home. One day she might surprise me, and I will see that little goose face peering in my window. God willing, she will.
In the meantime, Walker blessed me lots of funny stories to tell. I’m tempted to hatch out some geese eggs in the hope I will find another Walker, but then I realize that will never happen. She is irreplaceable. And though she is gone, her memory and my love for her live on.