Another school shooting. More people’s lives ripped away. More acts of religious and ethnic hatred. You see so much meanness coming from people nowadays, sometimes you begin to lose faith in humanity. Mine was restored a little today.
As I rounded the bend on my walk, I saw a man standing on the grass, looking at the lake. Then I saw a tiny naked bird running around near him.
“Oh my goodness,” I said.
The man turned and smiled at me.
“He’s got to be brand new,” I said.
“Actually, he’s a couple of weeks old,” he said. “He’s an orphan we found down by the weeds. He must have been the runt. You can see he also has a problem with his feathers, so they must have abandoned him.”
I shook my head. “That’s so sad.”
“I know. We picked him up and took him home, hoping we could save him.”
At that moment, the gosling started running away from us, flapping its wings. It looked like a wind up toy.
“Hey, where you going? Come back over here,” the man called. He looked at me. “This is the first time he’s ever left my side.”
The gosling came running back, stopping to peck at the grass for a moment before he returned close to the man.
“He comes when you call?” I asked.
The man nodded. “Yeah, and he likes to cuddle under your chin.”
The man explained that they were raising him to get strong enough so they could to try to introduce him to a clutch that has goslings his age. They’d tried once already but he was rejected. “We’re hoping when he’s older it will work.”
In the mean time, they have a set up a crate for him. “We’ve got stuffed animal geese in there and a mirror,” he explained. “The vet told us a special feed to get. He’s skinny, but eating and active.”
“He’s so cute,” I said.
“And look,” the man said. He pointed to the little guy’s chest where soft golden feathers were beginning to appear.
The man’s smile was wide, filled with pride and compassion. “I think he’s going to make it,” he said.
What an inspiration, I thought as I continued on my walk. It goes to show that you should never give up. And that it’s not always the survival of the fittest if there’s a helping hand.
We need more of this in the world. Acts of kindness just because you can.