I love my Honda Accord the way anyone might love a car. It’s fuel efficient and trouble-free. It was my late father’s car, which makes it particularly special to me. Gauging by how many other silver Accords try to confuse me in parking lots, plenty of people also love these cars.
But not the way Louise loves my car. Her love is notable for its dedication. Louise won’t leave the side (or the front) of my car from sunup to sundown.
Louise, I should point out, is a goose. A Toulouse goose. This bird was left in a nature preserve where park regulations don’t permit domestic animals such as Louise. So she had to go. She was nabbed, stuffed in a bag, transferred to a cage, and brought here by our daughter (a biologist at that park) to live on our pond. A few days earlier another waterfowl had arrived here the same way, a duck we named Alice.
Louise and Alice hit it off.
They swam in peace, nibbled on grasses, snacked on the cracked corn we left out for them.
Many mornings they were joined by wild ducks.
Some mornings they received visits from a fawn.
Even after Alice matured enough for us to notice that she was a male duck, now known as Al, they enjoyed what appeared to be a bliss-filled fowl existence.
Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? (Except for the honking. Louise is not a quiet creature.)
Then one day, everything changed.
Louise spotted a distant glimmer. It was so alluring her wide orange feet quickly pitter-pattered up to the front yard. There she saw Honda for the first time, his shiny surface and tempting shape alluring in ways only a goose of her caliber might recognize. She hurried up to this vision, this Honda of her dreams, and there she stayed. All day she strolled around the car, sometimes making quiet murmuring tones, sometimes tapping gently at it with her beak.
At night, humans herded her out to the pond to keep her safe from predators. One evening they didn’t wait until it was dark enough. She rushed back to her sweet Honda minutes later. The humans had to wait until the sunset faded to black, but not until Louise tried to convince the car to follow her to the pond. Car remained the strong silent unmovable type. After some despair-laden honking Louise allowed herself to be herded back to the pond, wings flapping in protest and feet slapping the ground with angry flip flop sounds.
Now every day Louise stands next to her true love, Honda. She perseveres despite mail carriers and rain and annoying small dogs.
She’s only mildly curious about a Civic that’s sometimes parked next to her beloved Accord, mostly ignoring it.
A lesser goose might choose an easier life. One with a pond, food, and fowl companions. But not Louise. She remains steadfast. As my daughter, the goose rescuer, says,
But, soft! what light from yonder driveway breaks?
It is the headlight, and Honda is the sun!
Louise and Honda, scene ii
Oh we’ve tried to break them up. She’s not interested in shiny objects placed nearby to distract her. She won’t look at a mirror we’d hoped to move incrementally closer to the water. She’s committed to living in the driveway with her Honda.
It seemed we had no other option but to find Louise a new home where her affections might turn to a fellow goose. We called the local extension office, sure they’d know of a nearby farm or 4-H kid raising Toulouse geese. No luck. The woman who answered the phone had herself once owned a Toulouse goose. It fell deeply in love with a discarded Christmas tree wrapped in a plastic garbage bag. Perhaps there’s something to the phrase “silly goose.”
Louise’s love has inspired us to sing songs like “When a Goose Loves a Honda” and “Here’s My Beak, Call Me Maybe.” But it’s not silly. It’s abiding and faithful, although unrequited.
I just wonder if I’ll ever be able to drive my car again…
I love it! What a great story, and so well told! May the sharing of this tale lead to a more perfect love for dear Louise! I’m off to share it with other kind souls who may be seeking a partner for their Toulouse Gander.
Hilarious! Thanks for sharing that story.
Wow. That is one silly goose! Maybe there’s something in the trunk she smells and she’s patiently waiting for it to be dispensed like some crazy fowl vending machine? In any case, what a fun story! Thanks for bringing a smile to a beautiful fall day!
This story gave me goose bumps, especially the part about your family’s wild goose chase at dusk that didn’t get their feathers ruffled. This story is ideal for a children’s book so I hope that this story doesn’t end with a goose that’s cooked as that would be killing the goose with the golden egg.
You win at goose-related puns.
OK, Laura, lovely story, wonderfully told, but we have to ask you one question: How do you know Louise’ love is unrequited? How do you know the Honda isn’t giving off a vibe that only a goose in love can pick up, and us poor doltish humans are missing 1/2 of the story? Eh?
Just a thought.
Love the songs, by the way. we’ll add:
SOME ENCHANTED HONDA… and perhaps
IT’S MY HONDA, AND I’LL HONK IF I WANNA. . .
A lot of food for thought in your comment. Love the songs, too!
I like your perspective MUCH better!
Great songs, Margaret!!
Oh my stars… I followed the link from Neatorama to here. Hilarious!
I wonder what would happen if you put a tarp over the car and moved it to another location on your farm? Would she find something else to love?Love this story, so cute!!!
We actually did bid on the right-sized tarp via eBay. Didn’t win the bid. Should probably try again. But chances are she’d just start a steady relationship with the other Honda in our drive. We’d have to tuck in all the cars and tractors around here with shiny paint and headlights….
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This is sweet… Have you thought about getting your goose a gander?
We know Louise needs other geese. Her duck buddies clearly weren’t enough. But her honking is annoying our neighbors, so doubling the honk-age would surely annoy them more. We’re looking for a new home for Louise, a place with lots of fellow Toulouse geese. We’ll miss her but she’d have a chance of goose love.
What a wonderfully written piece. I am so glad Margaret shared it with me!
I once had a Honda Accord Station Wagon I loved. It was named Henry Honda. I loved Henry Honda, but we decided to get a new Honda that my tall husband could enter more easily. I still miss that car. Louise’s affection for her Honda is understandable. If only she could learn to drive!
We have 2 pet Embden geese, Dame Goosetoff and Jesse. Dame Goosetoff is in love with the backyard wheel barrel. She spends all her naps beside it and often runs her beak along it. If I should require the services of her beloved, I get an earful and she waddles quickly ahead in attempts to stop me. This past fall I would fill her beloved up with leaves and she would quickly pull beakfuls of leaves out of it. This winter I built them a shelter with bales of straw, unfortunately they would not go near it, so we brought the wheel barrel over and leaned it up against the shelter. Now she sits outside the shelter, beside the wheel barrel. We might have to build a larger shelter next winter so the wheel barrel can go in too!
What a great story Rebecca! Maybe Dame Goosetoff should ask Santa for more straw bales so her home can be enlarged to house her beloved wheelbarrow.