Have you been wondering how our lone gosling, Puanani, has been doing? Here’s an update on her…and her former companion, Kalani. Both are doing well and growing – as young animals do – like weeds!
I’m happy to be able to say that my concerns about Pua not being accepted into the gaggle were unfounded. She’s a big, beautiful girl now, nearly the size of the other geese. She’s the most talkative of the bunch, and her voice has been changing, hitting deeper registers and sounding more like honks than peeps (and she sometimes seems surprised when it happens, like who made that noise?). She grew so fast that it was mind-boggling: it seemed as though she transformed from a cute, cuddly baby goose into a young adult almost overnight!
It took a while for Pua to understand where she fit in the dynamics of the goose gang. The ganders, in particular, seemed to enjoy goosing her and scaring her away from the food bowls. Not one to be deterred, though, she quickly figured out how to co-exist and still spend plenty of time eating. And she did her share of goosing the ducks.
Now, six weeks after her integration, it’s as if she’s always been a part of the gaggle. She clearly understands that the gaggle is her family, and the adults seem to look out for her. She’s just beginning to develop the characteristic white markings on her face, and I wonder which of the geese she’ll look like when she’s fully grown – will she have a mostly-white face or just white spectacles? Or will she look like the darkest goose, with just a hint of white ringing her bill?
Even as she’s become more gooselike and less attached to me, Pua will always hold a special place in my heart – the first and hopefully only single goose hatchling who spent the first couple of weeks of her life with a tiny chick friend. While I hope to never have a single goose hatchling again in the future, I’m grateful for the lessons learned: that despite being of different species, a friend can be just that – a friend – and once a youngster has a friend, they can and will thrive. Pua only had her chick friend for a short while, but I think they both grew in ways that were different than if they had only grown up with their own kind. Kalani, her chick pal, is a friendlier and calmer cockerel than the others he hatched with…clearly due to nurture, rather than nature.
One day – perhaps this spring, when she’s mature – Pua will begin laying eggs. And, with luck, some of those eggs will hatch and we’ll have goslings bringing their special joy to the farm again. I so look forward to that day!