RIP Goosie

For those who do not know, Goosie was an integral, major feature on the island of Erraid. He has been here for over 30 years, he was very old and last week this old goose finally gave up the ghost and passed away. As we remember some of the fond memories we have of Goosie, we all feel a keen sadness. Goosie was a lovely character, they say geese make better guard dogs than dogs do and, boy, did he have the ability to do his goose guarding – he would flap his wings and honk loudly. He was also a very hungry fellow and liked to fatten himself up. With a bit of food, Goosie would rapidly become your friend.

The kids loved him, my daughter, Bella, in particular (who wrote a piece about Goosie when we first came to Erraid) , they really felt connected to this animal who, though he was a farm animal, was also a pet and such a great part of the island. In this last week, it has felt as if the island itself mourned his passing, especially on the night he died as it was marked by a huge thunderstorm that followed. It was really quite extraordinary; just minutes after he died the heavens opened, there was lightning, there were rolls of thunder and it like the universe was pronouncing, “this was a great soul! This was a great bird!”

So now, we sit with grief and we sit with our children, having lost an animal with whom they felt deeply connected, and we see the blessing of it, having a pet die.  Letting death come to visit. Goosie was old towards the end, he was unable to walk and used to have to flap his wings and bum shuffle to get along. He even stopped honking. He would utter a quiet muted noise when you walked by but nothing really very strong, barely a honk at all. It was clear his days were numbered, but we feel a sense of gratitude that we have known him, that we met him and lived here on the island with him and that we were able to help him on his journey. He has been buried up near the sanctuary, and we will remember him with fondness as we send him on his way into the spirit world, to the place geese fly to when they die.

If anyone reading this has a fond memory of the old bird please do add your memory to the comments below…