Make Way for Goslings?

This post was supposed to be entitled “UpTick,” a nod to my husband and to signal the increased vigilance now required on pets and selves after all this rainy cool weather. But a sighting this morning out the shuttle bus window as it wound down from the Station usurped this idea. It was a picture-perfect moment that inspired both fear and hope. Where else but in Boston could one find a live enactment of that classic Make Way for Ducklings,[i] with just a slight substitution from among the class Aves, phylum Chordata?

The intersection where this parade of parent geese and 8 goslings occurred is one of the busiest on the route. At least 4 roads join under one of the antique trolley bridges for the Green Line. I didn’t notice the proceedings until two riders pulled their smartphones to capture the odyssey. Thankfully the geese had chosen a moment when most of the traffic lights were red; a Boston cab was staring right across from their small line. Where could Michael the policeman be? Would some other native Bostonian leap from a car and hold the traffic until they crossed? Perhaps a tourist or two would come to the rescue: they must have read the story, right, or perhaps they even made a pilgrimage of their own to the statues in the Common yesterday?

Since our bus turned the corner, I may never know.  I had to look away anyway: even the idea of harm to animals gives me a knot in my midsection and it’s only getting worse with age.  I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed hard the little family would make it back over the roads to the Charles for their morning swim. Surely everyone nearby would have noticed what was happening. They would know the book, right, and be ‘read in’ enough to recognize the scene and pause in their journeys to do their part, to wait and let the geese walk by?

Please tell me it happened that way. We need some light and hope and goodness on these darker days.

[i]  McCloskey, Robert. Make Way For Ducklings. New York: The Viking Press, 1941.


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