Many of you probably know that during my early through mid teens, I spent a lot of time and money on raising birds. I had a large complex of pens behind the horse pasture where I kept turkeys, quail, red-gold pheasants, pigeons, guineas, and chickens. On my parents' pond, I had a few ducks and a small flock of geese. We couldn't keep female ducks for some reason, probably because they'd go back into the swamp to incubate their eggs and get eaten by something during the month they basically sat still. The ducks we managed to keep were a black Cayuga and a pied duck, both male. Before I got the pied duck, the black Cayuga was the only duck on the pond. He took a liking to our male dog and would often chase the confused mutt around the yard trying to get a piece of that hairy canine butt. He also once hit on my mom, the only female animal he ever went after, while she was floating in the pond. She responded by trying to drown him and throwing him across the water. This may have been the reason he was gay.
The duck homosexuality continued when we got the pied duck at a poultry auction. Quack Attack (the Cayuga) and Houdini (the pied) often took turns humping each other in our driveway until we found them dead, side by side, on the railroad tracks in front of our house. Perhaps they committed suicide because they knew their gay duck love would never be accepted by the outside world. It was that day, saddened by their sacrifice, that I decide that I would be a goddamned hippie one day.
We didn't really have a lot of luck with the waterfowl. Most of them were never eaten by wild animals or mauled by domestic dogs. They either committed suicide on the train tracks like those two ducks or were lynched by my sister and one of her friends. In addition to the ducks, I also kept a small flock of geese. There were two slender, long-necked white Chinese, the brown African gander that looked like a stockier, darker, and larger version of the Chinese, and a couple of embdens and toulouse, the geese most of you think of when you think of barnyard geese. I always liked the geese. A couple of them could get a little noisy, but it was only during the day when we were awake and we didn't exactly have neighbors. Sure, all of the blueberries on our bushes were missing to the height that a goose could jump, but we didn't utilize our bushes to their full potential anyway.
What really ticked off my parents was the fact that the geese shat all over our carport floor when they waddled up to eat the dog food. And because of all the blueberries, the poop was purple and stained a little bit.
Finally, fed up with the watery fecal masses drying next to her van, my mom issued a hit on my poor geese. Knowing that I would balk, she had my middle-school aged sister and one of her friends take out my feathered pets. The problem was that my sister had no idea how to do this, so she and her friend caught the geese and hung them by their necks from the rafters of the horse barn. When I got home and realized this, I was pissed. My sister and her friend had abandoned the slowly-suffocating birds who weren't quite heavy enough to hang properly, leaving them to slowly suffocate as the gentle breeze turned them into wheezing pendulums.
Too badly injured to be rescued, I ended up having to kill the damn things on my on. This, along with my temporomandibular joint disorder, is something for which I have never quite forgiven my mom.