Column: Mr. Piggy gets a thrashing

Published 1:10 am Thursday, March 16, 2006

By Staff
Judging from the correspondence, many of you enjoyed the column a while back about Mr. Piggy and The Gang, the four tame Canadian geese with mysteriously clipped wings hanging out at our house.
If you'll recall, Mr. Piggy, the corn glutton, is the ruthless leader. Chucky is the hapless subordinate that Mr. Piggy constantly pesters and the two gals round out The Gang. In the previous column, Stranger, a lone wild goose on the verge of starvation and freezing, attempted to join The Gang. A lone goose doesn't survive long so it was a desperate, do or die situation for her. Despite being viciously rebuffed, she patiently kept up her efforts.
To update that drama, eventually Stranger was allowed to hang around on the outskirts of The Gang, though she always had to maintain a few feet of respectful distance from the rest. She also gained the confidence to approach me with the rest of The Gang when they came to the house for chow. A while later The Gang left downstream for a couple week hiatus as they often do. When they returned Stranger was gone. I don't know if she hooked up with a more sociable bunch or ended up as coyote dinner. I'd like to think the former but realistically she was probably relegated to coyote poo.
Lately there's been considerable strife within The Gang, which I suspect has something to do with testosterone and the approaching breeding season. Piggy has been downright vicious to Chucky, sometimes yanking out big mouthfuls of feathers from Chucky’s fleeing backside. With every assault the two gals run up to Piggy, get right in his face and loudly chastise him but he could care less. They are also now paired up, one gal all google-eyed over Piggy, the other hanging with Chucky.
Today, there was some real excitement. The Gang has been on another downstream vacation and a pair of wild geese has laid claim to our creek and adjacent pond. I've been wondering how this would play out when The Gang returned.
This morning I was on my second cup of coffee with the patio doors open, listening to the creek coming to life with the warm spring dawn. I was startled by the most horrific honking in the yard. There was Piggy and his girl, the first I'd seen of them in several weeks, staring toward the pond and screaming all manner of goose obscenities. Chucky and his gal were no where around. Perhaps Piggy had finally succeeded in breaking up The Gang but what's the big ruckus about? I soon found out.
All of a sudden the pair of Wild Ones swooped down into the yard, the male landing almost on top of Piggy. With their clipped wings Piggy and The Gang just lazes around all day stuffing themselves and aren't in the best of physical shape. Yard potatoes, you could say. Mr. Piggy tried to run, but the wild goose was all over him in a millisecond. As they rolled and flapped on the ground amongst a shower of Piggy's feathers Piggy's gal was doing raucus laps around the yard with the wild floozy hot on her heels.
Instinctively, I ran out to their rescue and the Wild Ones retreated to the creek a few yards away to size up the situation. Piggy arose, gathered his composure then stood near me shouting, “Yea, now we got the big guy! C'mon, whatcha’ gonna do now, Chump!”
Realizing they would have to work this out themselves, much to Piggy's dismay I went back in the house. For several hours the turf war went on, in the yard, down in the creek, out in the cornfield and over at the pond but it didn’t seem to be quite so violent. Eventually things quieted down. Piggy and his gal were gone. I couldn't help but wonder how things would have went if all The Gang had been there.
Would Chucky and his woman have joined the fray or would they have just sat back laughing, savoring the sweet revenge of Mr. Piggy finally getting his come-upin's? Carpe diem.