A cat by any other name

Eek! I've been goosed!


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Meow at me

I got a goose for my birthday. A cement goose that stands probably nearly three feet high. I knew about the goose - my mom had already mentioned that both my sisters were receiving the same thing as house-warming presents, and there were hints dropped that a third goose was out on my parents' back patio with my name on it. A very *heavy* goose, as my poor fiancé can attest to, since he was elected to carry the thing out to the car when we left.

I should at least explain the whole concept of this goose. It's not like my parents were out shopping and just randomly decided that their daughters couldn't live without a stone bird. Amazingly enough, in some parts of this country, these geese are all the rage. In the midwest, someone somewhere started a quaint trend of dressing their little cement goose and the idea caught on like wild fire. Whenever we are out in Ohio for family reunions, we see these geese on lots of porches. There are actually stores that sell clothes for stone geese. Little dresses. Hats. Halloween costumes. I kid you not.

My mom saw these geese and was immediately enamoured. She decided that her porch needed one. Finding the goose was not a major problem. Finding clothes, however, was. Amazing as it may seem, the stone goose craze just hasn't made it out this far west.

My older sister and I - since this was back when we both still had free time (read 'pre-baby' for her, and 'still in school' for me) enough to play on the sewing machine - managed to track down a pattern for goose clothes. We divvied up the pattern pieces and set about making goose clothes as a surprise. Of course once we had one outfit nearly done, we weren't exactly sure whether we'd gotten the right size (these stone geese come in short and tall, and therefore one must be certain of getting the right size pattern because it just wouldn't' do for your goose to be inappropriately clothed). We knew that my parents would be at church, so we drove over to their house, parking my sister's car further down the street, and then dashed across several yards to their front porch, where we yanked off the one outfit the goose owned, stuffed the poor stone critter into the dress we'd made, determined its fit, switched outfits, readjusted the hat, and then scurried back to the waiting car, giggling like lunatics. We figured if any of the neighbors saw us, they'd have an odd tale to report to my mom and dad. "Two grown women snuck onto your porch in broad daylight and fondled your goose!" It's one of those senseless crimes - a drive-by stone fowl undressing.

But anyway, now I have this goose. Or rather, my sisters and I have these geese. And I think that their reaction was most likely the same as mine. What on earth am I going to do with this thing? Cement barn animals - with or without clothing - have never been my thing. For now, it gets to sit in my garage because I don't trust the neighborhood kids not to try to knock its skinny neck off, but sometime next year I'll move into this new house we're building and then this goose will have to go *somewhere*.

I asked Richard if he had any thoughts on the matter since, after all, it's going to be his goose too. It was sort of a joke present, but still, one just can't blithely ignore 50+ pounds of cement shaped like a goose standing at attention, especially when it was gifted by one's dear parents - who not only own a similar creation, but dress it in little outfits on a fairly regular basis. And I do admit that, despite my best intentions, I almost feel sorry for the poor thing as it sits, naked, in my garage while we decide its fate. Richard, being the marvelous and practical guy that he is, calmly pointed out that this cement waterfowl has, by virtue of the fact that my mom gave one to my sisters too, now become a family tradition. And how does one argue with that? So bear with me. If you're driving through my neck of northern California sometime next summer and you spy a house with a dressed goose on the front porch, well...don't say I didn't warn you.

I wonder if I can get it a cat costume for Halloween...