Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Oct. 4, 1999

A good life for Limpy, the goose


When I was small, I had a goose for a pet. His name was Limpy. I will tell you a story about how Limpy got his name.

When he was a very little goose, Limpy was running with the other geese and he fell down and broke his leg. He was so little and so cute, but Limpy could not walk with a broken leg, so the other geese would tend to push him right over and even run over him when they were in a hurry to get to the feed dish. I felt so sorry for him.

My mother is a nurse, so she and my father found two small sticks and cut them to be the same size as Limpy's leg. They put the two sticks on either side of the broken leg and taped them on, just like a little cast.

Limpy had to learn to walk with the stick cast on his leg. At first, he fell down a lot. But I would work with him every day and by the end of a week or so, he was able to get around slowly. I was so happy to see him get around. I called my mother to come see how well he was doing.

Mother said, "We will make Limpy a bigger cast so he can run." And we did.

The leg healed very nicely except that when it was all healed, the injured leg ended up being shorter than Limpy's other leg.

When Limpy ran, he looked really funny. Grandpa said it looked like Limpy had been drinking too much beer.

As Limpy got older, he spent more time with his other goose friends. He could keep up with them pretty well.

But Limpy also would come to me when I called him.

He really liked it when I gave him some bread. Limpy started coming to the kitchen door every day for a handout. When I opened the kitchen door, he would come right in and limp over to the pantry ­ he knew exactly where the bread was kept.

Grandpa said, "That goose is getting to be more like a dog then a goose. Why, I wouldn't be surprised if someday we will hear him bark."

We all laughed trying to imagine a barking goose.

In fact, Limpy and Tom, our dog, became very good friends. They even slept in the barn together at night. Limpy grew to be a very old goose.

One day, when Grandpa went out to the barn, Tom came running out to meet him, but there was no sign of Limpy.

Grandpa looked in the barn for him, and found him in his sleeping place. Limpy had gone to goose heaven, in his sleep.

Limpy taught me that how you walk or look is not important ­ you should never laugh at someone because they are slower or different than you. Limpy was a very happy goose and he lived a good life, in spite of his handicap.

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