Avian Parenting Tips

I stopped on my way to work the other day to let a family of geese cross the road. There were 6 goslings, and the parents were carefully positioned, one in front, one behind, to keep the little group together and off the road. They obviously cross the road fairly regularly as the lead parent started across as soon as my car stopped rolling. The goslings ambled onto the road, gazing around curiously, until the rear goose suddenly started hissing and flapping its wings furiously. Not surprisingly, the babies sprinted the rest of the way across the street (well, as close as a goose can come to sprinting, anyhow) and into the ditch on the other side.

It was quite hilarious, and I couldn't help thinking how human children would react in similar circumstances. There you are, standing quietly on the street corner, holding mom's hand and chatting amiably about what you're going to have for lunch. Then, as soon as the light turns green, mom morphs into a marine drill sergeant, shouting "GO! GO! GO! MOVE your sorry TAIL or you'll be doing PUSHUPS until the middle of next WEEK! MOVE IT! MOVE IT!", while swinging a stick at your head.

Still, it was an amazingly effective tactic. I may try it the next time the toys need picking up.