Don’t Be A Goose

While playing cowboy on a ranch in Montana I observed the behavior of two animals that illustrate human conduct. When I thought of writing on this topic I thought it mirrors teens and it does. However, it also typifies some adult behavior.

One was a goose named “Goose.” The ranch foreman, Lyle, rescued Goose the day he hatched. A predator killed his mom and siblings. Goose manifested a trait of geese. They imprint with whatever they are around during their earliest days. Goose happened to be around Lyle and his dog Pinkie. Therefore Goose thought he was a dog or human. He walked around following Pink Dog because Pink Dog followed Lyle. When Pinkie wasn’t around he followed Lyle. If Lyle wasn’t around he walked around following the nearest human. He walked rather than fly.

He ate dog food and slept in the dog house. When Pinkie would bark Goose would squawk. He delighted to pick at shoe laces and if a person crossed him he would attack with wings flapping.

Wild geese would fly up and down the Big Hole River honking but Goose paid them no attention.

Goose will never know the exhilaration of flying the North American flyway. He will never develop his full potential as a Canadian Goose. He practiced one dog trait too many. He chased Lyle’s car one time too many without Lyle knowing it. Goose was run over without ever knowing his true identity. He never lived up to his potential.

The other animal was actually several horses. There were seven in the corral and pasture when a new one was introduced. The seven bonded together to exclude the new guy, Tug. They would graze together and if the new horse came too close they would run him away snipping at his flank and trying to run along beside and kick at him. Day after day the seven smoozed together. The new boy on the block was forced to stay out of their grouping.

One of the quarter horses was a beautiful paint. He seemed to know he was good looking and was dominant in keeping the intruder from getting involved. Not only would the paint, Scout, drive the loner away he would even walk away and lead the others to follow leaving Tug alone. It was class discrimination at its best. It was a click horse style.

It is one thing for horses to be antisocial but for human beings to practice this behavior is ridiculous. Tug did nothing other than be new to the society of horses. That alone caused the petty group to ostracize him. I didn’t know horses could be so insecure. Humans do the same thing to one another and the primary reason is their insecurity. There was nothing wrong with Tug. There was something very wrong with the horsing around of the group.

The same scenario will be acted out on campuses early this fall. The basic conduct will be applied in adult social circles.

The moral of these stories! Be all you were created to be and help others be all they can become. Don’t rob the world of the original you by imprinting with an unbecoming person or philosophy. Open yourself and emotionally embrace those around you.