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‘Twas the Last Day of Goose Season

Sometimes the Christmas spirit finds a hunter’s heart in its own special way


New York State’s early Canada goose hunting season runs from September 1-25th. At the beginning of every fall hunting season, I have always looked forward to it.

Until last year.

For the past ten years or so, every spring, we have had a pair of Canada geese nest on our back pond. We named them Flo & Moe.

Last spring, they hatched five goslings.

(It was six initially, but sadly, Harold didn’t make it.)

They normally disappear down through the woods in early June to bigger water,

where they raise their flock for the summer before flying south for the winter.

Last fall, during the final week of fall hunting season, I had guests in my back yard. Seven Canada geese visited me. I’m quite sure it was Flo & Moe and their goslings.

(There actually were seven. For some reason I could not get them to cooperate simultaneously for the lens of my camera.)

I guess there occasionally come times when a hunter looks into his heart,

changes his weapon & focus.

He may even find his heart’s Christmas spirit in the process.

Last fall for me was one of those moments.

In celebration of that moment, here’s a hunter’s take on a classic Christmas poem.

I think most folks well know the original.


‘Twas The Last Day of Goose Season

‘Twas the last day of goose season, when all through the house,

Not a hunter was stirring, not even cat chasing mouse.

The hunter’s shotgun was stored by the chimney with care,

In hopes that a successful fall hunting season soon would be there.

The hunter was nestled all snug in his bed,

While visions of roasted feasts danced in his head.

And Mama in her jams and the hunter in his sack,

Had not yet awakened from their peaceful night’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter!

The hunter sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window he flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters, and threw back the sash.

The sun was just rising with early fall’s glow,

Giving new day’s luster to objects below.

When what to the hunter’s wondering eyes should appear,

But a horizon of honking geese, seven plump feathered birds.

Herded by their goose Mom & Pop, so lively and quick,

The hunter knew in a moment, it must be Flo, Moe & their chicks.

More rapid than a flock of fresh flushed woodcock they came!

And they honked their collective honker’s voice as the hunter called them by name;

“Now Flo! Now Moe! Now Herbert and Misty!

“On Franklin! On Murphy! On Conner and Kristy!”

“Summer’s come to an end! It’s the first week of fall!”

“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

“As dry October fall hunting season leaves fly,

If you meet stalking goose hunters, mount to the sky!”

So up beyond housetop, goose and gander they flew,

With a full wing of feathers, and full bodied too.

And then in a twinkling, the hunter heard up over his roof,

The honk and the cackle of each wild goose.

As the hunter drew in his head and was turning around,

Landing in his back yard came seven geese with a bound.

They were dressed all in feathers, from their head to their feet,

All colored in shades of brown and grey, like a fine tailored suit.

They honked and they honked, with nary a quack,

They stood greeting the hunter, he waved and greeted them back.

Their eyes, how they twinkled, so fat & so merry,

Feathered like roses, their honks a song carried.

The hunter never once considered drawing shotgun or bow,

At the geese’s fat underbellies, white as the snow.

The click of his camera the hunter’s bequeath,

Framing the geese in his camera’s lens like a wreath.

He captured their faces, their feathers, their bellies,

When they chased each other across his yard, he laughed like a kid eating jelly.

The geese danced chubby and plump, pleased with their jolly fowl self,

The hunter laughed while he watched them, in spite of himself.

A wink of his eye and a nod of his head,

Gave the geese comfort that they had nothing to dread.

The hunter spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

Snapping photos with his camera with smile and smirk.

And after their feathered fall photo shoot pose,

Flo & Moe gave a nod, and skyward their flock rose.

The hunter sprung to his yard, and to his flying flock gave a whistle,

As away they all flew, like the down on a thistle.

But they heard him exclaim, as they flew out of sight,

“Safe journey to all!”

“And to all a good flight!”


Until Our Trails Cross Again:

Merry Christmas to All!