Lessons from Geese

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Canadian geese at Jasper Park Lodge

Here is a nice little story that our Canadian tour guide passed around to us during our tour.  She didn’t know where it came from, but after doing a bit of research since I came home, I discovered that the author’s name is Milton Olson.

It’s a charming life lesson which I enjoyed reading and I hope you do too…..

Next fall when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in “V” formation, think about what science has learned about why they fly that way.  As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following it.  By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock can fly at least 72 percent further than if each bird flew on its own. 

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it feels the resistance of trying to do it alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of flying with the flock.  When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies on the point.  The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Finally, when a goose weakens or is wounded and falls out of formation, two geese fall out and follow him down to help protect him.  They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they set out on their own or with another formation until they catch up with the group.

If we had the sense of a goose, we would stand by each other like that!!

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When I was walking around the lake, I came to the edge of the golf course and there was a flock of geese on the green.  The golfers were trying to gently herd them into the water, but every time they picked up their clubs, the very determined geese were already back standing on the grass.  After several unsuccessful attempts the amused golfers gave up and just had to move on!

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