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My French Life: How did those geese get there?

My French Life geese in the garden

A couple of weeks ago, my neighbour Remy popped round to say “bonjour”, and on discovering that we had run out of wood and it being cold still went into overdrive.  Within an hour he had organised for us to visit someone who could deliver wood to store for use at the end of next year (15 tons), wood for immediate use (2 tons), wood for this year (5 tons) and wood for the start of next year (10 tons)  I think we will be warm, we will certainly build up a sweat storing all this lot that’s for sure.

While we sat around sipping a glass of wine with him, I mentioned that Celine across the road had the most marvellous geese. She lets them roam freely and we have to keep our gates and front door shut now as her free ranging chickens and geese are not shy and have no problems coming into the garden and the house. I told him I wouldn’t mind a few geese myself and minutes later I found myself with the Other Half in his garden rounding up a pair of geese!

My French life Remy attempts to catch the runaway rabbit
Remy attempts to catch the runaway rabbit

Remy’s garden is like a zoo. There must be more than 150 ducks, chickens, geese, pigeons and rabbits in there, plus three dogs he keeps in a huge cage. One of the rabbits had escaped from its cage and was running about causing the dogs to become hysterical; there were baby chickens and ducks wandering about calling for their mothers and the geese were honking like crazy. “De rien” (no problem basically) says Remy. “You stand there and chase the geese this way – I will catch them”. Catching a goose that doesn’t want to be caught is not easy, they run about all over the place hissing and raising their wings to look intimidating. It’s all very well being told they don’t bite but they’re pretty fierce looking. I did my best but was fairly useless. Eventually though Remy and the Other Half cornered them and managed to manhandle them into a big plastic crate which we wheeled back to our garden.

My French Life Remy trying to catch the geese
Remy trying to catch the geese

At first the geese were a bit quiet but after a week they are definitely the masters of the bird pen. They chase the chickens and the cats, pinch the food from under the chicken’s beaks and threaten anyone who comes near. They seem to especially hate pigeons and blackbirds in the pen and run about all over the place attempting to drive the trespassers out.

My French life the geese boss the chickens about
The geese boss the chickens about!

Someone kindly donated an old wheelie bin storage unit to us that has doors and a lid and I’ve put straw in it for the geese. Remy says they don’t need anywhere to live, they apparently like being out in all weathers. That may be so but they also seem to really like their new home and the girl goose is laying eggs in there! Great big delicious goose eggs. And if you’ve never had one you’re missing out, they are like chicken eggs but huge and with big creamy yolks.

Our geese are a male and a female and very lovely. We’re hoping to hear the little patter of tiny goose feet one day. We have called them Fred and Flo after the Other Half’s grandparents who he said were a “pair of old moaners who mated for life”, just like our geese!

A bientôt
Janine
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