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Geese: Shape up or ship out


An open letter to all geese visiting Northfield:

Please leave.

Sorry to be so abrupt, but beating around the bush hasnıt seemed to get the message across.

In recent years, human residents of Northfield have tried various ways of telling you that, despite your natural beauty and uncanny ability to fly in formation, it would be nice if you would congregate somewhere else.

Your taste in places to gather is unmistakable. Most of the human population has made similar judgements about Northfieldıs natural beauty.

Unfortunately, when your groups assemble in our parks, our golf courses and our college campuses, it degrades the natural beauty as judged by the human eye.

You know, many other mammals have their owners clean up after them. So far, you geese havenıt learned that trick, nor have you managed to train any humans to do so for you. Perhaps a quick read of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is in order. Or at least spread the word among your kind that humans donıt like it when you get aggressive upon their approach.

As the noted 20th century philosopher Rodney King said, "Canıt we all just get along?"

Humans have demonstrated time and again that they are willing to work cooperatively with other species for their mutual good. Exhibits A and B are the domesticated dog and domesticated cat. Long ago, those two species learned that all they have to do is be loyal, run around with their humans a bit and maybe rub up against them, and voila! They are usually rewarded with a warm house, loving family, ample supply of food and some arrangement for waste disposal that is mutually beneficial to both parties.

So there is precedent for other species to interact successfully with humans, but you have chosen not to follow those examples.

Now, you geese who are reading this may ask, "Well, what about all of our kin you humans have shot and killed? Geese have feelings, too!"

But in all of Minnesota last year, only 400 geese were shot out of an estimated population of 285,000, and thatıs even before all of your goslings hatched. You need a supercomputer to calculate that percentage, itıs so low.

Weıre really not so bad, we humans. All we ask is that you stop degrading our water sources and our sidewalks and stop visiting our farm fields for free lunches.

If you canıt comply with these simple requests, then we are going to continue to do what we can to keep you out. You have been warned.

This column was written April 9, 2002, and published in the Northfield (Minnesota) News.

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