|Our Environment: Issue 18 Autumn 1999|
First there was Morgan alias Mortimer, Snowflake and Shirley.
The large white goose, who arrived one day on the banks of the Heathcote, showed no signs of an identity crisis. Looking regal and fastidiously groomed, he soon became an important presence in the landscape.
Seasons passed. Each summer he adopted a family of ducklings and watched them vigilantly till they could fly to safety. All seemed to survive under his guardianship.
Morgan showed no inclination to take off. Then last spring two brown geese flew in and joined him. There was general satisfaction in the community - Morgan had company. And didn't they make a striking trio.
Soon two nests appeared, then seven yellow fluffy goslings. Again Morgan took up guard duty as scores of passers by stopped to check their progress and empty bags of bread on the grass.
The goslings flourished. Now 10 geese cruise majestically along the tidal waters of the Heathcote some taupe coloured, some white and some an attractive mix. More often than not Morgan is at the helm.
It has been a special summer. As for next spring, that's another chapter.
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