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Wild Geese

Early morning hours brought the sound of wild geese as they flew low over our hill house on their way to a new home by the lake.

It sounded as if they were talking with one another " Hurry up guys! There's Merrifield's Lake dead ahead."

"Oh great! It will be so good to get off these wings." My imagination soared too.

Moments of reverie took me back to a story my brother, Mike, who lived five years ago, told me. It was about a real event with two life long mates, wild geese.

Birds along highways in Kansas often peck at grain that has blown off trucks traveling down the road. On the shoulder was a dead goose with its mate standing loyally on guard over the body.

"I shut down my semi to pull over off the road. Behind me my crew with heavy equipment in tow pulled over too. We were a sight I'm sure. The passing traffic looked at us with curiosity" My brother grinned as he remembered. " I rolled off the seat and out of my rig. I slowly approached the two birds with movements as cautious as a cat creeping toward it's prey. I spoke calmly to her mate, Say old fella, I know you can't leave her, however this traffic will get you too. With one quick motion I scooped the dead goose up into my arms. Gently I carried the lifeless body a distance away from the heavy traffic and carefully laid it down. That bird seemed to understand me as he followed along dutifully intent on continuing a vigil." My brother had a sad look on his face as he told this.

Ponca Native tradition tells, "you will grieve four years for your loved one". It is true. To verify this belief five years have gone by since I lost my brother, only now are memories sweet.

"You will be with me in paradise." Webster's defines paradise as a garden or park. "So it is brother, you will be with me in the Happy Hunting Ground. The resurrection we are promised with past deeds forgotten. Our loving God, Jehovah the Great Spirit provides a way for hope."

"Rest well, brother Mike. Goose knows what's best flyin for his heart at rest," so went a once popular refrain.

Donna Flood

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