Hagrid has always been one of my favorite Harry Potter characters. Even though he is clumsy, and a bit goofy, his heart is always in the right place. Everyone needs a Hagrid in their life. Since I’ve gotten geese, I’ve been thinking about him a lot. He loves all these magical creatures, and doesn’t see them the same way as everyone else. Other people think of them as mean and super dangerous. Hagrid just wants to understand them, take care of them, and have them as companions. Everyday I feel more like Hagrid, and it’s not just because I’m clumsy.
Remember when Hagrid wanted a dragon, and won an egg in a bar bet? He was excited, and doing everything he could for Norbert, while Harry and his friends looked on in horror. If Malfoy hadn’t seen the illegal baby dragon, I bet Hagrid would have him still. You know what else is kind of like a dragon? A goose. Stay with me here, I’m being serious. Geese have long necks, a wide wingspan, and if they are sitting on a nest they can be just as ornery as Smaug on his mound of gold. Like a dragon, geese don’t take crap from anyone, and will attack without a lot of provocation, just ask my husband. They are proud too. Sometimes when I go in the goose yard to let them out for the day, I feel like I should bow first.
You know what, though, just like Hagrid’s spider Aragog, if you are friends with the geese, you are friends for life, and the rest of your family might not be. When the geese are injured, they let me pick them up and tend their hurts. They don’t bite, or hiss, they just wait for me to finish. It probably helps they get extra treats for good behavior. I can get their eggs, and the gander Attila, doesn’t bother me. The only time they hissed at me was because I had on a new jacket. I guess they needed time to get used to hot pink. My husband and kids, on the other hand, get hissed at regularly. While Attila hasn’t bit my daughter, he has whacked her more than once with his wings. My oldest son has a great relationship with the birds, and even he has gotten nipped a time or two.
Like Hagrid, I feel I am constantly defending these beautiful birds. People had issues with big spiders, hippogriffs, and nifflers, but it turned out they were also useful. The spider’s venom was wanted by Slughorn, hippogriffs were loyal and could fly, and nifflers could be used to find gold. There are tons of stories about evil geese. But, really, they are awesome, and have great utility. Goose is delicious to eat, their fat is amazing to cook with, they lay huge eggs, and their feathers can be used for all sorts of things. They have great personalities. Even though some of my geese look alike, I know who each one is because of how they act. They’re good watch animals, and will defend themselves if necessary. Geese trust the people they have imprinted on, and will listen. One goose, Innocent, likes to follow just about all the family members around, and will come up on the porch for pets. If we don’t know she’s there, she’ll knock on the door to get our attention.
I look at the geese, and like Hagrid with his creatures, I don’t see monsters with feathers. Instead, I see beautiful birds. They have a calm dignity, and a quick temper I admire. Watching them waddle around the yard, owning the place in a way only they can, my only wish is that other people see them the same way I do. Of course, it would help if they would be nicer to certain family members so I didn’t have to keep defending them. I’m not sure that’s going to happen, so I will keep reminding everyone they are geese, not blast ended skrewts.