A/N: Hello! This is my second story with more then one chapter. I better explain why you're reading this story (you can just start reading, if you want).
The reason is pretty simple. The play for my school this year was Honk! Jr, and I was in it. It was really fun, so of course when it ended, we all started crying. Well, some people. I was part of the Goose Squadron in the play (we're the ones that try help the ugly ducking try to find his mom) and I started to wonder how the squadron was formed. How did Dot and Greylag meet? How did their goslings become so random? Did the geese ever had an experience with the cat? This story is my answer to those questions. If you've ever watched Honk, then you'll probably know what is going on. If you haven't…please look Honk up! It'll help you with understanding the story a little better.
Honk belongs to George Stiles and Anthony Drewe
A note to all my fellow Warriors fans:
There's a cat in here, but this is a cat that, if he got the chance, would eat baby birds. I know, I know, Clan cats eat birds (and other prey) all the time, but think of him as…I don't know, a prey-based Darkstripe?
Oh, and here's a poem to start the chapter off. Enjoy reading!
It hardly mattered what time of year
We passed their farmhouse,
They never waved,
This old farm couple
Usually bent over in the vegetable garden
Or walking by the muddy dooryard
Between house and red-weathered barn.
They would look up, see who was passing,
Then look back down, ignorant to the event.
-From No Tool Or Rope Or Pail, By Bob Arnold
It all started when a retired military officer decided to get a goose for a pet.
In the 20th century, that wasn't too unusual. Geese were good for keeping watch, even better than, some people said, then watchdogs.
The former military officer lived on a small farm with his wife. The farm had a few crops – things like corn, wheat, and hay – and a large garden. There were about two dozen chickens, and one rooster, that lived in a chicken coop, which was in the fenced-in area in the front yard. In the back yard, there were the crops to one side, and to the other, a muddy, marshy place filled with rocks and reeds and one or two small islands. The marshy place was populated by a few mute swans, which lived there all year.
There was also Dot, a gray goose who was the reason for the old military officer's decision. Up until this point, Dot had been a good "watchdog" type of goose. Now, she seemed mopey and sad, which would have been unacceptable on any other farm. But Dot was the wife's special pet, and the wife could tell when her goose was acting out or sick, and this time, Dot seemed to be sick.
The military officer, after deciding that any vets in the nearby town would only have small white pills that half the time wouldn't even be eaten by Dot, thought the best option was to get a male goose, a gander, to keep Dot company. Maybe that would cheer her up.
The couple, after telling a few friends about their plan – which was a necessary detail in any plan – found out that they could get a goose from a large, famous flock from another country. The officer and his wife went to their bank and found that they had enough money, thanks to interests. They filled out a few forms, sent the money off, and settled down to wait, for their gander to arrive.
The day the gander did arrive, in a large wooden crate, the retired officer's wife was just finishing a meeting for the reconstruction of something-or-other. When she saw the crate, with a loud honking coming from it, she knew it was their gander. After a phone call, the military officer came from the hardware store, in his old green truck, picked up both his wife and the gander-filled crate, and they headed home.
On the way home, the wife brought up the question of naming the new goose. "We have to call him something," she pointed out. "We do have names for a few of the chickens, and Dot, who is the reason we got the gander in the first place. He needs a name," she proclaimed as the green truck rumbled by a neighbor's mailbox. The former officer nodded, keeping his eyes on the dusty road ahead. "I know, dear. I think the best thing is to see what he does when we get home," he told his wife.
When they got home, and the truck stopped, the wife let Dot out from behind the fence, while her husband rummaged in his toolbox for a plier. Dot, however, winged her way up to the crate, and pecked one of the air holes in the top. A loud honking started coming from inside, and Dot leaned forward, trying to look in the holes. She thought she could see something in there…an eye? A flash of feathers?
"Dot!" the wife scolded. "Get down from there. We'll have him out in a moment."
Dot reluctantly hopped down from the truck bed, and stood next to the officer's wife, while the officer started working on cutting a large enough hole in the side of the crate. The crate itself was about five feet high and two feet wide, giving the gander enough room to step from side to side a bit, but not much else.
Finally, with a loud clang from the tool, a creaking of boards, and a whirl of feathers, the gander arrived in his new home. He stared around at the chickens, the sky, the two humans, Dot.
The gander flapped down the ground and over to Dot. His feathers were a grayish-brown, with black flight feathers, and an orange beak and feet, same as Dot, only he was an inch or two taller. "Hello," the gander honked.
"Hello," she honked back.
"Where am I?" the gander asked her, glancing around again.
"You're in Britain, in the countryside," Dot told him.
"What's Britain like?" The gander asked, and then answered his question himself. "If it's all like this," he flapped his wingtips, indicating the farmland, "then I think I'll like it."
"I think about half of it is like this," Dot honked thoughtfully. "I've never been outside the farm, but my parents have. They traveled around a lot before coming here," she added quickly. The gander was looking a bit less off balance now, Dot saw, so she kept talking.
"The human that opened your crate, he was in the military. He traveled around a lot, with my parents."
"What's the military?"
"It's something humans started. They use it as a way to defend their countries."
"They do?" The gander sounded a little puzzled, but not totally disbelieving. "Oh, like water fights!" he honked, and Dot could tell he seemed to understand now. "My siblings and I used to do that all the time, when we were goslings, before…" he blinked rapidly.
"Yeah," Dot honked quietly. "My siblings and I used to do that, too."
Meanwhile, the officer and his wife were making plans for a goose coop. The chicken coop housed a couple dozen chickens, with more on the way now that the seasons were becoming warmer. It could house one goose, Dot had proved that, but two? That was out of the question.
The retired officer decided that with some scrap wood, and the gander's crate, he could make a goose coop that would be big enough for two geese. But his wife came up with the problem they had discovered in the truck: the gander's name.
"We need to find a good name for him," the wife sighed as she stared at the sky, as if it might give her an answer.
"Look at this!" her husband said as he pointed to a small piece of a paper, a tag that had been attached to the crate. It read:
2 FEET, 7 INCHES
2 YEARS AND 3 MONTHS
HANDLE WITH CARE
"I was thinking we could call the gander Greylag," the officer commented as his wife re-read the tag. "I mean, look at him." He pointed to their new goose, which was busy following Dot around. The geese had finished talking together a while ago, and Dot had decided to show her new friend his new home.
The military officer was right about the gander, even though he didn't know much about geese species. Greylag was a good name for him.