The continuing sage of Lonesome George, the end?
I still have a couple of posts to do about things that happened at the pond where Lonesome George was, but they don’t really revolve around him, so I am going to wrap up the Lonesome George series. I have to tell you, this is a tough one for me to write.
The last day that I saw Lonesome George was October 14, 2012. I wish that I could tell you all what happened to him, but I can’t. It was a cold, windy, rainy day that day, and most of the geese that had been staying at the pond during the day had stopped coming, leaving George by himself most of the time.
The next day, when I didn’t see George, my heart sank. I forced myself to go around and around the pond in concentric circles, looking for clues to tell me what had happened to George, hoping that I wouldn’t find a pile of feathers somewhere that were the remains of George, I didn’t. I expanded my search, covering nearly all the open ground within walking distance of the pond, hoping to see George someplace, or at least see signs that would tell me what had happened to him, but there was nothing.
I wish that I could tell you that I saw him testing his injured wing, and that it had healed enough that I had watched George fly away, but I can’t. I don’t think that he was killed by predators, there were no signs of that at all. So what happened to him, I don’t know. Maybe some one had finally found an animal rescue site that came and got George, maybe he did fly off, or maybe he walked to one of the other lakes in the area.
In some ways, it was like losing a close friend.
However, for much of the summer, I felt like a heel, as if I were taking advantage of George’s injury just for the sake of getting photographs for my blog. I had tried, as had other people, to find some one to rescue George, with no success.
For some one who had been raised to believe that allowing an animal to suffer was one of the worst sins one could commit, it bothered me, and made me feel helpless, that there was little I could do for George. I should have done more.
But then, George didn’t seem to be suffering, either. In fact, by the end of the summer, he was for all intents and purposes, a normal Canada goose, except he couldn’t fly. He would hang out with other geese when he wanted, even leading the flock around at times, then at other times, he’d go off by himself for a while, for reasons I can’t explain.
When other birds would be flying within sight of George, he seemed to always be watching them intently, and I would wonder what was going through his goose brain. Was he remembering back to when he could fly? Was he remembering places he had been? Was he wishing that he could fly off to other places like the other birds? Or, was he simply on the lookout for possible danger?
And then, there’s Molly the mallard, who stuck by George like glue for the first two months after George was injured. I’m fairly certain that Molly was an older mallard, past her breeding age, by her coloring. Was it maternal instinct that kept her at George’s side, was it friendship, or both? And what about George? He seemed to enjoy having Molly around, and it looked as though he was going to protect her from the evil heron when she felt threatened by it.
But by the end of summer, as George spent more time with the other geese, and Molly spent more time with other mallards, their relationship seemed to come to an end.
Then, there’s Craig the cormorant, was he protecting George from the evil heron, or do cormorants and herons not get along at any time? It was strange, looking over the hill around the pond to see George, Molly, and Craig hanging out together for close to a month. There were other cormorants in the area as evidenced by the fact that some of the other would stop by that pond from time to time, so if Craig was looking for company, why didn’t he join the other cormorants, rather than hanging out with George and Molly?
I could go on at length about all that I learned by hanging out watching George, but I won’t, at least not now.
For now, I just want to say goodbye George, I am going to miss you!