Being marginally in my cups last night, I forgot to go out and shut the chooks and geese up in their pens for the nocturnal hours. Awaking this morning, I went out to release them, having firmly believed that I had confined them as per habit, only to find the pens open. No problem, chooks were out and about doing their thing, but no sign of the geese. A quick tour of the paddock revealed their continuing absence, so down to the river bank. I should confess here that the fence at the riverbank is broken and the geese have been reported (by Eddie next door) to have been sporting themselves in the shallows of the river. No sign of them under the spreading sycamore tree, so I set off down river to see if I could find them. Quarter of a mile later, and within sight of the loch, I returned home empty-handed, as ’twere. Deciding to peek upstream instead, I parted the branches of the sycamore that form a screen over the river, and there they all five were, looking most charming afloat on the river. They soon returned home to see if I would cast grain in their direction before going off to work.
After some consideration, I have decided to be liberal in my approach to their confinement and operate an open-on-licence policy. Provided they come back for food and at bedtime, I shall treat them as trustworthy teenagers and tolerate the gap in the fence. After all, it’s quite nice to think of them enjoying a swim in the river instead of the green duckpond that is the alternative.