I wrote this story over twenty years ago. I posted this story several years ago on this blog. While time certainly goes by quickly, some things never change.
For the past several weeks, whenever my husband and I walk along the lake by our home, we have seen a lone Canadian goose swimming or standing watch along the shore. He was there again last evening.
Oh, it could be the goose with the sore leg we saw a while back, but this goose reminds me of one that I have always remembered from my youthful goose hunting days.
Canadian geese choose a mate for life. Should one of them die, the widowed goose oftentimes sticks around looking for his lost spouse. One such goose who had lost his mate, spent the autumn days flying over our farm calling for his spouse. This bird was later found dead stuck in the deep snow on our lake. This devoted goose had died waiting and waiting for someone that was not ever coming back.
This story was written for my very young daughter, when I was fighting my first battle with cancer. I wanted to record life lessons for this darling little girl, that I so greatly loved, so that she would always know how special she was to her mother in the event that she might find herself, like that lone goose, waiting and waiting for a loved one that was never going to return.
The Golden Goose is a great story about a goose who learns that where there is real love, there is no room for domestic abuse.
Introduction: When my daughter was only 14-months old, I was diagnosed with cancer. The story of Golden the Goose was written and illustrated for my daughter as a keepsake from a mother she would have been too young to remember.
Golden the Goose was the first of many stories I wrote and illustrated for my daughter as she grew up. The stories, Golden the Goose, Hannah and the Evil Lizard of Nid; Carina the Brave; Kerrien the Water Lily Fairy Princess; Going to get the Calves; On Grandmother’s Knee and others, all have a character education lesson that I wanted to share with her.
At the request of my daughter the geese in this story are different colors. However, Golden is a Canadian goose, because that species finds a mate for life. When I was young, a Canadian goose who had nested by the lake on my father’s farm died. All fall its mate circled the lake calling for its lost spouse. Refusing to leave, the widowed goose died on the ice during the winter months. Its devotion to its mate was heartbreaking and something that I have never forgotten.
Golden, too, wants a love for life. The importance of her story is about recognizing a healthy relationship from an abusive one. She learns that love is about kindness, patience and grace, not jealously, self-centeredness or possessions.
Over the years, my daughter’s books have been shared with my students, family members, friends, and with other women who heard about them and wanted to share the stories with their daughters.
I hope you enjoy, Golden the Goose.
Patricia K. Turgeon
Golden the Goose
by Patricia Turgeon
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful goose named Golden.
She lived in the big woods that surrounded many lakes.
Her neighbors were northern winds, lights and snowflakes.
Other geese, there were none, and she was alone.
Above all else, Golden prayed for a love of her own.
So, early one morning above dawn’s misty, swirling mast,
Golden flew off, riding the back of a cold northern blast.
She traveled all day. She journeyed a very long way.
She flew until she spied. A goose castle floating in the sky.
The castle was made of all of her prayers.
The bricks were the color of kindness.
Patience and loyalty had built the stairs.
Wisdom and Worth held each board within their power.
Time’s breath embraced Laughter to create the great tower.
Truly, the castle was a magical place.
For a star lit the ballroom before it escaped into space.
Golden, was drawn to the gilded riches within.
She was so happy, she didn’t know where to begin.
The castle’s beauty was such a wonderful surprise.
While the handsome goose king enchanted her
with his beautiful jeweled eyes.
This castle of dreams for a while was enough.
Until Golden discovered that the king
sometimes could be rather rough.
He cheated in words and deeds when in play.
No sharing, just shouting and shoving to have his way.
Scared, Golden ran the whole castle through.
What was missing there, she suddenly knew!
For, the end of her quest was not the king at all.
Brokenheartedly, Golden sadly calls….
“Who built this castle?
Where did he go?
Didn’t the wisdom of the wood, tell him I needed him so?
I flew and I flew the longest way.
He created this castle.
Oh, why didn’t he stay?
It was built with kindness, patience and grace.
The king’s not the builder.
He has such a selfish face!”
Golden’s tears seemed never to slow.
Her past, not king, not castle, was not letting her go.
Then, a rush of wings was heard.
And, before her stood a very ordinary bird.
He wasn’t king or even a prince.
Just a goose with a few golden hints….
Golden looked at the fellow through a tear stained eye.
He looked at her and said, “Oh, please don’t cry!”
I’m not a prince, nor a king.
I can’t promise to give you castles and things.
I can’t make all of your wishes come true.
But, here is what I can do for you…
“I can fly with you wherever you go.
I will take care of you should you get sick, and when we grow old.
I’ll stay when the kings have gone and left you alone.
I’ll be your friend—I’ll build you a HOME.”
Golden’s eyes narrowed to a squint.
As she carefully reflected on the ordinary bird’s hint.
Being a princess in a palace is not worth the price.
If you spend your whole life with a king whose not nice.
She extended a feather. He unfurled his great wings.
Together they found the gentle joy, true love brings.