This episode's illustrations brought to you by The Rabbit.
I've always liked going to the park, and enjoy taking my kids to feed the birds whenever we feel like having a day out. Usually days spent in this way are peaceful and lovely. Usually.
When I woke up to a wonderful summer morning, sometime in the summer of my fourth year, and was told by my mom that, after breakfast, she'd be taking me to the pond to feed the ducks, I was excited. A day in the sun, probably seeing friends, and just having fun!
We got dressed, I put on my flip-flops, and we headed to the store to buy some cheap loaves of bread, then took the bus to the park. Usually my mom would hold a loaf of bread and let me have one, or two, slices at a time, so I wouldn't throw giant chunks at one bird, then run out of bread quickly. This day I showed her my newfound restraint, and my ability to throw tiny pieces of bread, without being reminded, "because I'm FOUR!" so she relented and gave me an entire bag of bread to hold by myself.
Things went really well for a while. I got to feed some ducklings, the mommy ducks were able to get some food before the daddy ducks stole it all, and I had a train of ducks following me all over the park, as I happily waved the bag of bread around.
I'd gone through half of the loaf, and was a pretty good distance from my mom, when a goose showed up, and kind of honked at me. I thought it was cute and threw it some bread. This encouraged it, and a couple other geese that had suddenly appeared, to start honking for bread.
I loved geese. I thought they were the most awesome birds in the world.
Still oblivious to the upcoming danger, I kept dancing with the bread bag, and leading the train of a quickly dwindling number of ducks, and no ducklings, and a quickly growing gaggle of geese. The geese were getting kind of loud, but I found out if I gave them bigger chunks of bread they seemed to like that, and were quieter.
I stopped to fix my shoe, and looked up to see that all the ducks were gone, and so was the train that had been following me. Instead I was now surrounded by geese. Since I was shorter than most of them, there were geese for as far as I could see. Honking, and closing in, and staring at the bag of bread.
At first I didn't mind, because I had plenty to feed them, then I reached into the bag and found out I only had two slices left. Panic set in and I called out for my mom, but she was out of bread, and couldn't really help me.
The honking was getting louder as my captors got more anxious, and bread-thirsty, and I was starting to freak out some. I think my mom was getting worried too, because her slightly higher pitched than normal advice was, "Guinevere...I think you should throw the bread and run."
She probably should have been more specific, because instead of lobbing the bread over the geese, and distracting them, I threw both pieces directly into the face of the biggest goose, standing about 6 inches from me, and he was NOT pleased.
My mom yelled, "Run, Guinevere, RUN! Throw the bag and run!"
I did run, but my confused, and panicked, mind couldn't grasp what the bag had to do with anything, and I was using it as a weapon now, to keep the geese as far away from me as possible, which wasn't far at all. They were nipping at my shirt and pants, and hair, and honking loudly at me from every side.
Finally I got a burst of speed and managed to get a little bit ahead of the geese, but not very far. My frenzied bag swinging must have looked hilarious to any witnesses, because my mom was doubled over laughing, but kept yelling at me, "just drop the bag!"
which I still wasn't willing to do.
It felt like I was running from those geese forever, and I was starting to get tired. I saw a tree near the pond and thought maybe I could get behind it, or somehow use it to get away, and with the last of my strength I sped up and ran around the back side of the tree and felt like I was getting away when my foot caught on a root and SPLAT! I slid across the wet grass, and probably mounds of bird poop, and was soon pounced upon by all of the geese. They were pulling at my hair and toes, and pants, and shirt, and whapping me with their wing tips. I curled up in a ball and covered my face with my hands, while still holding the bag, which caused them to bite my fingers too.
My mom came running all the way across the park yelling nonstop "Drop the bag, Guinevere, DROP THE BAG!"
I don't know how many times she yelled it before it finally dawned on me that the stupid geese thought there was still bread in the bag, and, still covering my face, I wadded the bag up and thew it as hard as I could. The bag flew about a foot, but it was enough to get the geese off of me.
Right as my mom came running up, the geese triumphantly took the orange bread bag into the water, and as a final payment, for not having anymore bread, one of the geese grabbed my flip-flop from where it had gotten stuck in the tree root, and took it in the water too.
I was bruised, scraped, bleeding, muddy, covered in bird shit, and sobbing uncontrollably all the way home on the bus.
I wonder what people thought my mom had done.