Out here in the country, mailboxes are all on one side of the road. Ours is on the other side, so I always pull into the driveway and stroll across the street to pick up our daily supply of junk and bills. The neighbors don't mind; it's the way things work out here.
Their geese, on the other hand, consider it an outrage.
These are them. I call them "The Girls," and since their appearance a few weeks ago, checking the mail is a daily event. The game goes like this:
Nearing the driveway, I slow down and turn off the radio. All the better to sneak up on 'em, you see. I park and open the car door. By now, they have spotted me and are heading my way from wherever it is geese lurk between victims. They stop. I look at them. They look at me.
Slowwwwly, I set my foot on the gravel. At the first crunch they raise the alarm, honking as if the hounds of hell had invaded their turf.
I start moving toward the box, my pace nonchalant, matching theirs. If all goes well, I get to the box first, grab the mail, and beat a hasty retreat before they reach me. However, if one of us starts to run there's a full-on, wing-flapping, shrieking-honking race for the goal.
It is important at such moments to consider the probable value of the prize. Because there's a pretty good chance somebody is about to get whacked and bitten for it. And that would most likely be me.
I'm pretty quick for an old broad, and I have yet to leave empty handed. But if The Girls ever look like they're gaining on me, I will ditch and run without a backward glance.
Their territory apparently ends at the blacktop, because once I've gained the street they settle into a cranky border-patrol mode, still grumbling and eyeing me closely, but never following me back to the car.
A saner woman would probably just turn around in the driveway, back up to the box, and reach into it from inside the car. But hey. Where's the fun in that?
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