Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Swimming Lessons

The geese that we see while we are on our way to and from school are growing bigger. The one set is maybe middle school now, and the younger set 1st grade. Soon they'll be teenagers. (We like to put things in terms we can understand)

We saw the geese having swimming lessons last week. The older set was swimming with its parents, and the parents were flapping their wings while in the water. Demonstrating an important goose maneuver I'm sure. Anyway, after the parent geese did it, the little ones copied them. The parent goose stood in shallow water and flapped its wings full out. The little ones did it too - very cute, because the little ones only have tiny wings.

Everything the parents did, the children copied. The children also had some moves of their own, diving under water and swimming under the parents for example.

When some of the other geese in the creek came too close to the family, one of the parents swam toward the intruder in a menacing way, and hissed and stuck his neck out low. It was very clear that in goose language this meant 'back off'. Now, I can't tell a male Canada Goose from a female Canada Goose, but my son decided that the one protecting his family was the Dad.

So, lessons learned? Children learn by example, and Dad's protect us. Good lessons all around, I think.

No comments: