Culture

How a goose went from bad news to a beloved neighborhood mascot


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SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (KSL) — A Utah neighborhood terrorized for weeks by a goose has now embraced the bird, having learned what was behind his “insane” behavior.

“We love Gangsta now. We do,” says John Canaan, whose family came under attack more than once.

The Canada goose showed up last month outside the Canaans’ home in the Salt Lake City suburb of South Jordan, and John’s first encounter with him was not a pleasant one.

“John comes running back into the house with one shoe on, one shoe off, his hat’s out here and he’s like, ‘I just got chased by a goose!’” recalled his wife, Narelle.

With a prime view of the goose’s turf — a paved trail that runs alongside a small lake — they saw him chase off unsuspecting joggers, walkers and cyclists.

“Oh, we saw people being attacked,” Narelle Canaan said.

“He was flying about 800 mph directly toward my son,” John Canaan said of one incident. “It was like a missile.”

On video, they captured the goose — whom they named Gangsta —  hissing and running or flying after people who attempted to pass. They learned he didn’t like umbrellas; John kept one by their door so he could help children pass safely.

The couple put up signs warning of the “dangerous” and “insane” bird, and the homeowners association did the same, in more official language.

The change in the neighbors’ sentiment began when they realized he was protecting a nest of eggs. And they fully forgave him after five long weeks when the eggs hatched — and they saw Gangsta shepherding not goslings, but a mother duck and her 12 ducklings.

Their revised sign describes him as the “insanely devoted goose.”

Gangsta is still keeping a close eye on the duck family but has abandoned his attacks on humans. And he’s become something of a celebrity in the neighborhood.

John Canaan says he has learned a lesson from the misunderstood goose.

“I think we live in world right now where it’s really pretty easy to dismiss one another and to judge each other,” he said. “But I think if we’ll just take a little more time to take an extra careful look we might — metaphorically speaking — see a goose trying to take care of a duck’s eggs.”

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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