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  • Todays cowbird story on goose calls reminded me of a story, about the time I caught a goose at Big Lake in my hometown in Iowa. Why they call it Big Lake, I don't know. It's not really that big. But it was a nice lake. It was very close to our home and often on Sunday afternoons we would drive over there.

    Sundays was our day to rest. My parents had stopped going to the Methodist church. I don't know why but if their experience was like mine, it was probably just as well.

    Sundays, mom and dad liked to read their newspapers. Seemed they could spend hours doing that. Sundays was often pot roast day and we would have "dinner" about mid afternoon.

    Big Lake served many purposes. People brought their dogs and there was always ducks and geese walking around we liked to chase. You could walk around the lake, fish there, or play on the playground equipment. A favorite was the spinning merry-go-round. Kids would load on and one kid would grab the handle and run as fast as they could to spin it and jump on. Then when you got off you would be so dizzy you would walk around like a drunk, laughing. You can't find them anymore as too many kids bit the dust, I guess.

    I remember in the winter the lake would freeze over and kids would ice skate there. I didn't like ice skating but I remember our whole family took my brother and his girlfriend. He is very tall with long legs and is very uncoordinated. Watching him was like watching a giraffe on skates! Legs and arms going every which way. It was hilarious. We laughed until our stomachs hurt.

    The other thing we did at Big Lake was fish. I loved fishing with my dad and this lake was fairly safe for families. So one Sunday, I think it was a pot roast Sunday, we headed down to Big Lake with our fishing poles. Mom would bring her book and sit at the playground with my little brother. Dad and I would head over to the riverbank with our fishing gear.

    So this one day, I baited up and cast out my line. All of a sudden I hear this loud squawking and carrying on. I looked out to the lake to see a flurry of feathers! My dad starts yelling and hollerin, "Reel him in, reel him in." On the end of my line was a goose! I had caught him in mid-air with my cast. He was really hooked (yes, I'm a good fisherman) so there was nothing to do but reel him in.

    So I did. But that was only part of the battle. Once that goose was reeled in he was madder than heck! It was dad's job to get him off the line. That bird was honking and biting and flapping. By then we had gathered a large crowd, some disapproving and some disbelieving. I found myself explaining I hadn't done this on purpose for a goose dinner. After all, we were having pot roast!

    Fortunately for the goose, my dad was an expert fisherman and knew just how to get that hook out with a minimum of damage. Once released that goose couldn't wait to head as far away from us as possible!

    Then, .... there stands mom giving dad and I one of those looks like, "Now what have you done?" Dad and I sheepishly suggest that maybe its time to go home for pot roast.
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