One thing I’ve observed in Denver with much interest: Canadian geese. Thousands of ’em. I thought geese were migratory birds, so I don’t really know why they are sticking around (unless this IS “south” for them), but they are all over the place. Watching their behavior has intrigued me, amused me, and inspired the following parable, based on actual things I’ve witnessed (although I’ve taken a couple of artistic liberties just to tell the story).
To quote the Master parable-teller: He who has ears to hear…let him hear! 🙂
There was once a flock of beautiful Canadian geese. They looked beautiful when they flew, especially when they flew together. They looked beautiful when they swam in the lake. But they looked a little silly when they walked. And they honked a lot, like a traffic jam at rush hour. The geese flocked around a little lake that they loved, and they would swim in it all the time.
Then one day, winter came to the beautiful country. The snows came, and the cold weather froze the lake, so that it became hard.
When the geese found that the water in their lake had turned solid, they did not know what to do. They could not swim in it. They could not eat from it. They could only walk on it like the ground. And of course, they looked rather silly when they walked.
Yet for some reason, the geese refused to leave the lake. Rather than fly gracefully elsewhere and look for other lakes that were not solid, the geese stayed around their beloved lake. They walked on the ice; they squatted on the ice as if to try to swim–but of course, they went nowhere. They just laid there, and looked sadly at the hard water as if it were a lover that had betrayed them…as if they could melt the ice by staring at it long enough.
If the geese looked silly when they walked, they looked even more silly wandering and sitting around on the lake, honking mournfully, pretending it were still melted water. They longed for the days of old when they could swim in the water again. But it never occured to the silly geese just to fly somewhere warmer. They loved their lake.
One day, a goose got tired of sitting around on the ice and decided to fly for awhile. So he got up, spread his wings, and began to fly. The other geese on the lake mocked him: “Silly goose,” they honked. “Why are you up in the sky? Come back down here and help us wish the lake to not be hard anymore!” But the goose did not listen. He flew away, and as he flew, the air got warmer. Soon he found a larger lake, even more beautiful than the one he had left. And the water was not hard, and there was plenty of food.
Ecstatic, the goose said, “I must fly back and tell the others! We can come here where the water is not hard!” So he flew back to the other geese.
“I have found a better lake!” he honked, out of breath. “The water is not hard, and there is plenty of food. We can swim and be beautiful again! Come fly with me, and I will show you.”
Some of the geese perked up. They had never imagined that there could be swimming water somewhere else. But the head goose (if that was what he was called) spoke up:
“You are just a silly goose,” he honked, walking toward him (and looking rather silly himself as he did so). “A better lake! We have flown all over this land, and there is no other lake better than this one! Besides…you don’t know what dangers might befall you in another lake. We know this lake; it is our home. You are just a silly goose.” Then he honked at the others, “This goose has lost his mind; do not listen to him. If we wish hard enough, this lake will become soft again.” With that, the head goose (if that was what he was called) squatted down again and looked mournfully at the ice. And the other geese did, too.
The goose was sad that none of the other geese would listen to him, but knowing what he had seen, he could no longer squat down on the ice. He flew away again, back to the warmer, better lake. When he got there, he noticed a few other geese that had found their way to the better lake, too. Together they swam in the water and ate, and were beautiful. The other geese at the frozen lake starved to death while they waited for the lake to not be hard anymore.
Permanent link to this post
(800 words, 2 images, estimated 3:12 mins reading time)