Let us take a moment to appreciate the angry ballpark goose
Given their disdain for our society, our laws, and our little entertainments, it makes sense that geese are not as common a visitor to professional ballparks as, say, cats. Geese prefer to create their own domains in areas less enclosed and busied by human activities, like golf courses and public green spaces. References to geese on baseball fields in old newspaper records are hard to find — perhaps because of the perceived non-newsworthiness of such incidents, perhaps because of the number of baseball players and ballparks with “Goose” in their names. But, every so often, a goose does appear on a field where major league baseball is being played. It happened just this week, in fact, at Sunday’s game between the Cubs and the Diamondbacks: a lone Canada goose in the grass at Salt River Fields, emanating hostility. It lurked behind Rafael Ortega, its eerily long neck extended outward, ready to strike anyone who might interfere with its presence there, its ego puffed up by the violence with which it had preserved its claim over the territory. Slo-mo footage showed how this goose had chased off another goose that landed on the field, clamping its screaming beak on the interloping goose’s back, tearing out a painful-looking number of feathers before the other goose was able to make its escape.
Embodied in the menacing figure of the goose is a reminder of the limits of humanity’s role in the ecosystem, how tiny our segment of the history of this planet. Even though the dinosaurs are long gone, their descendants still walk among us, hissing at toddlers and pooping everywhere.