Ashley Hunter is a mom, teacher, and community supporter who loves who she is and where she lives.

How about this weather? I can’t get enough of memes on Facebook about Texas weather being back and forth between needing coats and needing shorts. Personally, I don’t mind too much. The warm weather is milder and nowhere near reminiscent of summer, and the cold is just cold enough to want to stay at home with a cup of tea and read books with the children on your lap. During one of the warmer days, we decided to take a walk to the duck pond at Riverside Park.

We would go all the time when my oldest was a little baby. He loved the ducks, and would make little quacking sounds from his stroller. When my youngest was born, I guess we just never made it a priority and skipped out on many potential duck pond walks. Our visit was even a little bit of an afterthought since we had originally driven to the park to play in the playground just down the road. Now, I’ve only ever been to a few duck ponds in my life. I grew up in the desert of West Texas, so there were no ponds whatsoever to go and enjoy, unless they were at the zoo. I had never encountered a goose until college, and didn’t know how mean they can really be. In fact, my husband can tell you a truly terrifying (or hilarious depending on where you were standing) story about how he heroically saved me from a potential goose ambush. It’s always the assertive male goose who is out to get me. This time was no different. My kids wanted to go and stand out on the pier overlooking the lake for a while. It was very peaceful and cozy; all of us standing there enjoying the breeze. We counted the ducks and talked about the colors of their coats. It was all so disorienting too, since the water kept moving in the breeze as we stood still. It feels as if you’re moving too, but you’re not, so before you realize that you’re not moving, you take a step to the side and end up almost flat on your face. The ducks came up to us little by little expecting us to throw some bread. Once they realized we didn’t have any, they went back to their swimming and playing on the lake. We stood there for a while saying ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ to the ducks before noticing the goose brigade just to the left of us. There he was; the mean, leader male goose looking right at me. I turned to my husband in hopes that he would protect me once more just in case peck came to shove. He laughed and pointed to a work sign. It turns out that the fountain and gazebo side of the pond was closed. But I protested, “Don’t you think he’ll fly over the gate and try to get me?” My kids thought that would be so much fun, but I cautioned them. “Do you see how he lowers his neck and raises his head?” I began. “He’s getting ready to attack. He doesn’t like me. None of them do.”

“Mommy, don’t worry, I’ll make sure he stays right there,” my oldest assured me.

I doubt I will ever be afraid of a male goose again.

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Ashley Hunter is a mom, teacher, and community supporter who loves who she is and where she lives. If you have ideas that you would like to share with Hunter, you may email suggestions to hunter.ashleyk@gmail.com.

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