Was walking up the walkway to my apartment this morning, and found my path blocked by a belligerent Canada goose.

I took a step. It opened its beak and hissed.

Now, I don’t mess with geese if I can help it. I’m not particularly scared of them, but I respect them in the same way that I respect swans and Cape Buffalo.* These are one of nature’s Right Bastards. Nevertheless, I did have to get into my apartment. I took another step.

It hissed again, and waddled forward.

“Oh, hiss hiss,” I said. “What’s your major malfunction, anyway?”

Not surprisingly, the goose did not see fit to respond. However, a second goose stood up from behind a shrub and joined the slow-motion assault.

They hissed.

I hissed back.

There was a brief moment while the geese snapped their beaks shut, and I cannot swear that they did not exchange baffled glances–“What did it just say? What kind of accent IS that, anyway?”–but by then I’d gotten another two steps around them, and discovered the cause of their belligerence, as four football sized goslings emerged from under the shrubs.

“Awwwwww…” I said, thoroughly charmed.

“Hisssssss…” said the geese, thoroughly annoyed.

“Fine, fine,” I said. “I see your point,” and retreated. Had to go the long way around the side of the building, traipsing across the lawn, but hey, such is life. One doesn’t mess with goslings if one wants to keep one’s shins in proper working order, after all.

Spring has obviously sprung.

*Which I am scared of, but fortunately they hardly ever block the way to my apartment.

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