My New Friend

The town where I live, the town where I was born, is Lakeland, and it’s named for its many lakes.  In fact, our city’s symbol is the swan.  When I was a kid, I loved to go to one of our many lakes and feed the ducks.  I loved the ducks… the swans, not so much!   Swans are huge and aggressive, they hiss like dogs, and they bite!  And believe it or not, they do have teeth.

By the time I was a teenager, feeding the ducks was a thing of the past because it was lame.  Only the very young and the very old could appreciate feeding a bunch of birds.

Well, as it happens, a few months ago, I had a surplus of old bread, so I decided to take it to the lake and feed the ducks… and I loved it!  It was so relaxing, and it definitely made me forget my life’s troubles for the hour or so that I was there.  Since then, I’ve been collecting all the bird food I can, and I try to go feed them every week.  (So, I guess I’m now among the very old and lame.)

Anyway, the last time I fed the ducks, a handsome, grey goose wandered up to me to beg for some food.  The funny thing was, after I fed him, he stuck around and “posed” until I took his picture.

After that, he obviously wanted to check the camera and see how his portrait turned out.

Time to talk:  Have you ever gone to a lake for no other reason but to feed birds?  Have you ever had a wild animal latch onto you and try to be your new best friend?

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34 thoughts on “My New Friend

  1. I love ducks! I would love to have some in my garden, but I dont think hubby would be too pleased. There are also a lot of foxes around. And Indi would just think they were there for his amusement… he’ll chase anything and everything that moves! Love the friendly grey goose, too.

  2. I have always enjoyed feeding ducks and geese. Swans, too, although they’re not as common. There’s a pond not too far from where I live that has ducks and geese year-round. I like the geese there because they’re very friendly and well-behaved — for geese. They may swarm when begging for crackers, but they don’t bite. I really like baby geese — they’re adorable. (Remember when a Google search for “gosling” would turn up photos of baby geese instead of some actor…? *shakes head*)

    • Those ARE well-behaved geese! When my daughter was small, I took her to the zoo, which had a sign on the goose pen that warned visitors not to try to pet the birds. I told my little girl not to do it, but there was one goose standing right up close to the fence, and its feathers looked so soft … out came the curious finger, and SNAP! The owner of the feathers defended its personal space. After that, my daughter decided to sit on her hands in the stroller, for the rest of the visit.

      • OUCH! That is so traumatizing for a little one! I was bitten by a swan when I was about three, and it scared the bejeebers out of me for years. Then for a few years, I figured I had just overreacted because I was so small. It wasn’t until recently that I saw first hand that they actually DO have teeth!

  3. You have yourself a quite handsome suitor there, Rachel. Don’t ruffle his feathers, though.

    My father and mother would take my sisters and I to the duck pond specifically to the village duck pond with a loaf of stale bread in the warm months to feed the ducks when we were growing up, Rachel. It’s one of the fond memories of my youth, actually. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder.

    • LOL! Cute, Mark! 😉 Aww, that’s such a sweet memory! I hope someone in the family has photos of that… and that when you find them, you’ll let me clean them up for you. 🙂

  4. I remember my grandfather taking my little sister and me to a pond to feed the ducks. It was something special.
    Many places discourage or do not allow people to feed the ducks, geese, or other wildlife. I read that bread is kind of like junk food to them, and they fill up on it instead of looking for food that would be better for them.

    • Yeah, I’ve heard that before, too. But we don’t have any such signs here discouraging us. Plus in the cold months, they always seem to huddle and shiver rather than going in the water for fish.

  5. Lovely pictures! I remember when I was a child I used to feed ducks crackers and bread. I haven’t been able to do that for a while–I would like to do so sometime since there’s a lot of ducks and geese where I live 🙂

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