The Little Gosling
I was inspired to write this story after my daughter and I stopped to help a baby gosling this past spring that had been hit by a car and left cold and wet and unable to move along the side of the road. It will hopefully inspire those who read it to slow down and take notice of the wonder of all the little creatures that share our space. We should not be afraid to be good Samaritans when something needs our help.
The Little Gosling by Cynthia Brast
I was only a few days in the big world and never imagined I would have to leave my mom and dad and my brothers and sisters so soon. Not like this. I didn’t even get to see a day with the sunshine out. The big, black, rubber thing was so big…and my wings don’t work yet…I just didn’t get out of the way fast enough.
All of a sudden I felt awful. I couldn’t move. My brothers and sisters scattered away from that big thing. Where were my parents? There was nobody to help me.
The grass was wet and cold and I began to shiver. It was scary and I hurt. I heard a loud noise as another of those big rubber things rumbled by. I began to drift in and out of what seemed like a strange sleep.
The hurt was still there though. And the cold! My feathers began to soak through. They used to be so dry…and fluffy…and yellow. Now they were muddy and wet and stuck to my body. They weren’t keeping me warm anymore.
After a while, I heard a voice. It sounded kind and soft. I think it was a human. I don’t know much about people because my parents kept me away from them. Someone gently scooped me up out of the wet grass. Her voice was soothing and her hands were warm. That helped me not to shiver so much, but I still felt so awful.
Another voice with her said, “There’s another.” That person had found one of my little brothers. I didn’t know it, but he was nearby. Somehow the big rubber thing had missed him. He was just scared and didn’t know how to find our parents either. That person helped my brother. I listened as she softly spoke and told him not to worry. I heard him peeping and then he was gone. He had said “goodbye” to me. The voices let me know that he was back in the water and with the rest of my family. Safe.
But what was going to happen to me? The soothing voice took me to her home and nestled me into a box with something warm underneath. I heard her speaking softly to someone about a wildlife rehabilitation place. I didn’t know what that was, but guessed it was something like a hospital for little animals like me. She was going to take me there.
We rode in her car for what seemed a good while. It wasn’t what the voice had planned for her day, but being such a kind and gentle person she knew she needed to find help for me. All the way, the other voice spoke to me and gently stroked my face. I still hurt, but it was comforting, like when my parents preened my feathers with their beaks.
I guess I slept a little, until I felt the box I was in lifted and carefully carried into this new place. The lid on my box was closed, so it was dark and I couldn’t see, but I trusted that I was in hands that were caring. The new voices were gentle too. They said I had been injured very badly from the car. Then I heard the voice that found me speaking again. Very softly she said I wouldn’t hurt anymore…
I am so glad she knew how to help. It wasn’t long before I finally started to feel the pain go away. I left behind that place where there wasn’t any sun out, but do you know what? I’m waking up in another place and even though my brothers and sisters and my parents aren’t here, there is a beautiful pond for me to swim in. My body doesn’t hurt anymore and now my wings and feathers are dry and fluffy. The water sparkles in the daytime, and at night the stars glittering in the sky come and dance across the water.
Now I’ve found a safe place where there aren’t loud noises or big rubber things to hurt me. There are people here too, and they are really nice. Do you know they all have wings too? Just like me! Except they are angels! Their voices are kind and gentle like the ones that found me along the road when I was hurt. Someday those soft‐voiced people will be here too. They belong to this world. Right now though, they have to stay where they found me because they help those that need to come here find the way. I asked them before I left to give a special message to my parents and to my brothers and sisters and let them know I am okay. I miss my family, but I know that someday I will see them again.
Text and photographs copyright 2011 by Cynthia Brast. No part of this story may be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the author.