Dear Canada Geese,


I am writing to let you know that your weeks-long visit to Hillman’s Long Lake is not exactly making my days. In the late spring and summer months, three pair of you stay on our lake and raise your young ones here. They are enough of a nuisance that many of us have tried a number of katy-bar-the-door techniques, to keep you off our lawns.

Personally, I’ve tried alligator decoys. Maybe some of you remember Headley.


Headley was supposed to reach some deep place in your breed memory and remind you that alligators eat you in places south.

He didn’t work. Even his jewel-like eyes didn’t work.

Next the internet was filled with glowing reports of how a coyote decoy would do the trick.


All that trick did was scare me, and our guests, every time we came upon it. There was enough goose poop in the vicinity of the coyote that I gather some of you have a perverse sense of humor.

Yes, fencing works. But only if every neighbor wants to hem themselves in just to hem you out.

But really. This is ridiculous. We’ve spent more than three weeks with you floating around the lake in large gangs. You aren’t coming out of the water to feed as much as usual, but lordy some people with those nice green lawns are in for a terrible surprise in the spring. The little gift packages you’re leaving behind will break down some by then, but not totally.

I am writing to let you know that we are a lake that is very inhospitable when it comes to geese. Lately, for example, I’ve discovered you don’t like old ladies in long white bathrobes running out of the house noisily opening and closing a big brown umbrella in your general direction.

Long Lake will be frozen soon and I figure you’ll finally get the message and leave. In the meantime, whatever inner compass brings you back to places (and I know it’s a myth that you have a magnet in your beak), just be certain you don’t come back here in the spring.


“This is not the lake you’re looking for.” Please. Please. “Move along, nothing to see here.”

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