Honkin’ good neighbours

Remember the story of the Capitoline Geese? I’m sure you do, but just in case: It was about 400 B.C. when the Gauls attacked Rome, and the Romans withdrew to the Capitoline Hill, to wait out the seige. One night the Gauls tried to make a sneak attack up the hill, but the Roman soldiers were alerted by the honking of the geese who lived on the hill (and weren’t eaten, by the way, because they were sacred to Juno). Well, here in Daglan, we have our own Capitoline Geese as neighbours.

Previously on Radio Free Daglan, I’ve mentioned that we save up scraps like vegetable peelings and pieces of stale bread and give them to our neighbour Germaine for her Périgourdine geese. She keeps a couple of these creatures in her yard a few doors down from us, and visits them regularly with their food supply.

One day recently, we went for a visit and got a first-hand demonstration of how geese can help to ward off intruders. Geese can be fairly fierce, especially if you’re a stranger. So when my wife decided to get up close and personal, they were not amused. Here they are, honking away as they approached her:

Geese approaching

Two geese, ready for action.

Then they decided that they had had enough, and so they went for Jan’s ankles — like this:

Geese on the attack.

Geese on the attack.

After she tapped them on the head a bit, and our neighbour Germaine swung at them a few times with her cane, they retreated. Like this:

Geese retreating.

Defeated, the two geese withdraw.

And while I’m on the subject of animals, this morning we had a good sighting of a female deer, grazing in a field just past Bouzic. Having learned how skittish they are, I immediately slowed our car to a crawl and we crept forward — my wife getting the camera ready. Suddenly the deer bolted, jumped out of the field, and ran across the road in front of us and up in the wooded hills. Here she goes:

Across the road and into the woods.

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One Response to Honkin’ good neighbours

  1. Double D says:

    We like a story where the hero has a moral dilemma, slow down and take a picture or speed up and eat venison for a month!

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