My heart breaks this morning for a beautiful goose named Tristan. He and his paramour, Isolde, lived fairly peacefully on our little farm pond. We've watched them for the past year and a half and taken some beautiful photos.
Yesterday, from their treetop perch, my daughters saw a mess of white feathers by the pond. They scampered down and ran with breakneck speed only to find beloved Tristan murdered. My 5 yos came to me in the house hotly angry to relay their findings. I went to see for myself. Tristan was a large and yet fast goose when it came to his flight response in cases of attack. How could he have not escaped!?
Sure enough, there was the poor beast, looking like a museum stuffed display that had seen better years. He was not bloody, but mangled. Definitely a dog kill, a just for the fun, run at anything that flutters kill. We lost a rooster a couple of weeks ago to another one of the neighbor's stray rescues. Now, beautiful Tristan.
I found Isolde painfully hiding in the shrubbery on the other side of the pond. Nearby her own feathers were scattered from her attack, a miraculous escape. She was the more timid and fragile of the two. Definitely dogs packing up, they must have been pumped up and eager to go at her as well. The dog tracks around that side of the pond revealed my suspicions. Isolde would not let me near her. I wanted to help as her tail and back were covered in flies, a telltale sign of some collection of wounds under the ragged and ripped feathers. She survived, but for what? To live lonely and vulnerable to the next seige??
I wanted to sell the farm, I wanted suburbia and laws and covenants. I wanted the promise of the farms you read about in sweet blogs with lovely photos. I wanted to wretch.
I returned to the house, to my utility room where I am raising the three offspring I incubated from Tristan and Isolde this spring. Isolde has lost two nests to the neighborhood dogs so I thought the only chance she would have was my intervention. Turns out I was right. The lovelies were hatched only two weeks ago and they have captured my heart more than any of the dozens of chicks I have hatched over the years, and I assure you, I have loved them as well.
Now, just WHAT am I to do? Well, for one. The violence on the farm is not over unless I am proactive. Deposit will be made at the Humane Society for borrowing a dog sized trap. I can not enjoy my farm, my animals can not live in peace on my farm as long as this is going on and dog owners think it is "just one of those things that happen on a farm. Dogs and birds don't go together."
Yes, well, neither do dogs and bullets.
I hope we can secure the property's peace again so our lovelies will be safe again and then we can continue to watch them thrive. The pond is only an ugly mudpuddle without their graceful movement upon it.
So said I my peace.
UPDATE: Isolde would not let me collect her and shelter her and on the following morning she was found to have had the same demise. We'll miss them.