Joanne and Reginald were having a new adventure today. Giving Reginald a bath. It had been long enough. The other geese weren't coming back. Joanne had been caring for the little gooseling for over a week now and had grown rather fond of it. Even named him, Reginald. So, she was going to put some water in the bathroom tub, put the goose in the water, and see what happened. She had often times seen he geese at the pond out behind her condo, paddling about on the water just like the ducks. She had wondered when she first spotted the little fluff ball if it wasn't a duck, but she had done her research on the internet and it was in fact a goose. It was still so small. She feared if it would survive without its mother.
Why had they left him behind, she had wondered , over and over. She had watched the little guy suffer about in her back yard for several days before coaxing it to her back porch and then finally inside her back patio. It had been an adjustment over the last week, but a fun one. After all, it was only her, since her husband had passed away earlier that year. Her condo agreement did not say she couldn't have pets and there was no need to worry anyone about Reginald just yet, anyways. His goose family could came back after all. Though, it was strange for them to up and disappear.
It was one of her favorite things each day to watch and see if the geese had hatched yet, and when they finally did she was over come with tears watching them waddle about so tiny and fluffy. When they were led into the water only a few weeks after they were born she leaped with joyous laughter to see them swim about! So graceful so quickly. Surely it had only been a few weeks or so since that day, and yet the mother and other babies were no where to be found around her senior living community. She had searched, asked her neighbors, and hoped to find clues, but nothing. So, she had so far adopted Reginald, to keep as her own.
Joanne called to Reginald, who was currently nestled on his legs in the living room. Instantly, he perked up, honked a tiny honk, and came waddling to her. Her wrinkled face crinkled even more as a smile broke out upon her face. They walked together to the bathroom where Joanne stared the warm water.
"Now, I've seen you swim. So no foolin' that you can't." She was smiling so Reginald would know he was only teasing him. She scooped him up and placed him the tub that was quickly filling with water. She wondered, would he simply swim around looking for food? Would he know to wash his feathers like the older geese? There were no older geese to show him. She prepared herself mentally to behave goose-like if necessary.
As soon as his little webbed feet hit the water, they started paddling. He did indeed dip his head into the rising water but only, it seemed, to wet his feathers, as he came up quickly, water splashing down his neck and back.
"I've got to get my camera!" She was back in a flash, snapping pictures of the little goose, paddling all over the tub. With the water no longer running, he had full access to the tub's length and he was making the best of it. "What a happy little goose!"
Reginald did indeed clean his feathers. Over and over he would plunge his little beak amongst the gray feathers and purge them of dirt and other debris. It was good to know he had mastering self care on his own!
Reginald let Joanne know he was done by flapping his wings on top of the water as if he was angry, honking his little honk at the edge of the tub. After a small chuckle, she scooped him up once again and placed him gently on her carpet where he shook himself so hard he plopped right down on his little bottom. Joanne almost feel over with laughter. She caught herself against the sink and wiped a small tear from her eye. She turned, still laughing and walked out, Reginald following along behind.