Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Goose That Almost Wasn't

I don’t remember having a television as a young child. We weren’t exactly poor, but let’s just say we had to stretch the food dollar a bit by relying on the generosity and good will of family and friends.

I never noticed. I was too busy playing “Red Rover, Red Rover” or “Hide-n-Seek” with the cousins and trying to think of ways to keep out of trouble. I wasn’t a mean kid, just ornery. Stubborn might be a better word for it.

One particular Thanksgiving Day, one of the cousins (sneaked) brought a goose over for the Thanksgiving main course. I was outside playing with my dolls and minding my own business when something caught my eye on top of the rusty oil tank at the back of the house. I knew that back yard like it was nothing and I knew this was something that wasn’t there yesterday.

As I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I couldn’t see exactly what it was and curiosity got the best of me. I ran inside and asked my mother, who was standing at the kitchen counter cutting up celery and onions and doing all those Thanksgiving-like things, just what it was.

“That’s the goose for Thanksgiving dinner,” she exclaimed rather too excitedly for my own tastes. “Wasn’t that nice of your uncle to bring it by?”

Uh. Yeah. My taste buds were just budding over.

I was aghast, putting it mildly. I had never eaten goose before and wasn’t about to start now. Visions of Baked Mother Goose danced in my head and I frantically raced back outside.

I stood there at the oil tank, gazing up at the white atrocity, but it was much too high to get at it.
Dinnertime would be here before you knew it and I had to think fast.

I searched the yard for something to climb up on and that’s when I heard an innocent mew coming from behind the lilac bushes. It was our cat, Boots, looking at me kind of strange-like. What a stroke of good luck, I thought!

I figured that if I throw the cat up high enough, he would land on top of the oil tank, grab the goose, take off with it and no one would ever be the wiser.

I grabbed Boots with all my might and with one gigantic thrust, I threw him into the air.

Mrrrrowwww, he growled, plummeting to the ground with all four paws outstretched.

He started to run off figuring this was some sick game I was playing with his life, but I grabbed the tip of his tail just before he got away.

I threw him up a second time and this time, he almost hit the target, missing the goose by inches.

My mother, who was known for never missing a beat, saw me throwing the cat up in the air and yelled, “Dotti Lyn! What are you doing out there?”

“Just trying to see if Boots can fly, Mommy.”

“Well, stop your horse-playing right now, young lady, and leave that cat alone!”

“Okay, Mommy.”

I waited until she moved away from the window and was out of site. I was making sure I wasn’t going to be picking any switches that day!

I found Boots, who was eyeing me pretty suspiciously by then, and threw him a third time.

This time, we hit bulls-eye!

I peeked around the corner to evaluate the situation, keeping one eye on the cat and the other eye on the kitchen window and I’ll be dang if that cat wasn’t just sitting there.

“Go on, you dang cat!” I yelled. “It’s a goose! Eat the darn thing or do something other than just sit there!”

The cat just sat there, ignoring the goose and making sure he was going to sit up there the rest of the day so I couldn’t get my hands on him again. I guessed he didn’t like playing airplane, after all.

“Dotti Lyn! What’s that cat doing up there on the oil tank with our Thanksgiving goose?” yelled my mother.

“Mommy, guess what?” I yelled back. “Boots can fly!”

I don’t remember how Boots got down that day, but I do remember eating goose for the first time. And I’ll tell you one thing. I’ve never eaten it since.


  1. What a funny story. I can't believe the cat let you catch him THAT many times. But the way you write, I can picture the whole thing as if I were there :)

  2. Ha! Loved it..
    Thanks for visiting my blogsite.
    (cherokee sage woman).
    I think we shared the same childhood. Why is it that kids don't play outside anymore??
    I've thought of writing a book about the games we played outdoors during the '50's.. 'Games Grandma Played'

  3. What a cute story! That poor cat!
    We had to pick switches for our whippings too. How funny that you wrote that.

  4. Dotti Lyn-- I like that! This story reminds me of when my dad fed us our pet rabbit.

  5. Cute story.
    I was going to crack wise about 'getting' goosed, but decided to pass... ;)

  6. What I want to know is how you ate when you couldn't sit. ;)

  7. too funny! I can just see you throwing your poor kitty! LOL

  8. Dorothy, I'd wondered if I'd see any of your writing again - loved the passage of OTH that I read last year.

    Great blog.


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