JT has always heard that geese fly south for the winter. I don’t know much about bird migration, but whoever said that must have meant they fly here. And there’s one group of geese that just stay here. But the infamous geese of Natchitoches have been here long before JT has lived in the area.
Often we see the gaggle waddling around near the riverbank like they own the place. If you trek across the Keyser Ave. Bridge off Jefferson Street, you might have seen a crossing sign for our feathered friends. And yes, they take their precious time to get to the other side. These geese have no fear. I’ve spotted them among ducks on the riverbank but whereas the ducks might be timid, geese know their place in town and aren’t afraid to show it. Before the riverbank construction, JT would often witness one of them waddle right up to a parked vehicle and give honks of harassment to the driver or passenger, as if to say, “Get off my property!”
Before JT lived here, I would often visit Natchitoches as a child. I remember back then you could buy bread from the shops on Front Street to feed the ducks, and might as well feed the geese while they’re there. I have a vague memory of getting too close one time, wanting to be friends with a goose. How cute they must have seemed. It honked, loudly, and I ran away crying. Recently, JT was curious to see what the beak of a goose looked like. Someone had told me how odd it looked, so I looked it up and yes, it is! I pray you never have to see one up close. They have rows of sharp teeth lined up along their beaks and even rows on their tongue! How terrifying! No wonder I was so scared, and admittedly, still am.
JT went to the riverbank earlier this week to watch concrete being poured over the road, and lo and behold, the gaggle was in attendance. They watched from a safe distance near the water. I bet with the continuing construction on the riverbank, the geese have been anxiously waiting to reclaim their territory.