The dog, at least, had an excellent time. He thought going for his walk at 7 a.m. this morning was just perfect, even though it was about 17 outside, and snowing lightly. Although we saw no one, his excitement mounted as we walked down the path along the creek, because there were quite visible tracks of the creature he most wants to meet, Coyote.
I had the vague sensation that we were being stared at by pairs of eyes as we walked past the willows, but nothing happened.
I read somewhere that when you start to freeze to death you’re enveloped in a sense of bliss and overall well-being. The wind made it too cold to feel anything even resembling bliss, and by the time we made it back to the entrance of the open space I was fairly sure my face had frozen. Chess had ice between his paw pads, the one thing that makes a dog want to go home, but it wasn’t more than a minute’s walk back to the warmth of a house with the heat turned on full blast.
I also read somewhere (most of my reading is done “somewhere”) that at this time of year the population of Canada geese in Denver exceeds the human population. You can tell when winter has arrived; the sky is full of honking. Border collies are said to be superior choices for chasing geese off golf courses; no geese have ever landed in the back yard here, and Chess–the dog who almost let a rabbit walk into the kitchen just the other day–probably wouldn’t care at all.
As a failed vegetarian it pains me to say that I ate one, once. I was given a goose that had been blasted out of the sky on a hunting trip that was supposed to be for other game. I felt I had to do something with it so I cooked it in a Chinese-style broth with soy sauce, rice wine, and star anise. My wife refused to eat it; she was right, I could have cooked a basketball in the same broth and had the same results.
The occasional shotgun pellet between my teeth reminded me of how the goose met its end. There’s a difference between edible and worth eating.
These geese don’t know this story, but are flying away from me anyway; maybe toward the Soda Lakes near Morrison, or the reservoir, the water of which I’ve never seen, just the other side of the highway.