Our poor Mr. Winston Wobbles died this past Friday. He was a sweet gander and one of my first two geese.
Mr. Wobbles was wobbly. Even when he was little his legs seemed to outgrow his body in a way that was a bit concerning. I researched everywhere without finding any concrete reasons for his disability. But he grew into those legs and even though he was still wobbly right up until the day he died it only gave him more charm.
Unfortunately I'm pretty certain it was Mr. Wobbles' unsteady nature that caused his death. We found him under a large farm gate that he likely pulled over on himself trying to wiggle through the bottom. There was no evidence of struggle so we are certain that his departure was quick and painless. We buried the sweet boy under the oak tree in the front yard. I cried a lot that day. As I carried his big fluffy body into the shed I couldn't believe how heavy and soft he was. I cut off several of his feathers and some of his down to remember him by. I plan to make a Mr. Wobbles stuffed animal for Finley and stuff some of his down inside. She won't know him but she will know other geese.
It's so funny how animals work their way up into our hearts. We know that loving them will always result in heartache but we can't help ourselves. Mr. Wobbles will always be remembered as my first and favorite goose. He would look right at me and talk to me, just like in this photo, pausing for my response. We could go back and forth for a long time. Then he would come over and let me hold his bill. He would let me wrap my whole hand around it like I was shaking hands with him. Then he would just stop, resting there, looking at me. Mr. Wobbles wasn't much for being picked up like his sister Clementine. I think it is in the nature of ganders to be protective and suspicious and I like to think that Mr. Wobbles wanted to be such a sweet boy in spite of his nature as a gander... and he was.
Geese have a life expectancy of up to 25 years. I had images of Wobbles at birthday parties, and maybe even Finley's wedding. I can't believe we lost him so soon. Clementine seems to be getting along just fine for now. It was probably too early in their lives for them to be mated to each other. I plan to get two more geese come spring time so I have a flock of three and no one will be lonely. I'm sure I will love them, but Mr. Winston Wobbles will always have a special place in my heart.