Sybel’s Memories

27 Mar

We planned our camping trip to Shoal Bay carefully, making sure our canoe, bikes and lawn chairs, as well as the food for the five night stay were included. Our camping companions included Vera and Buddy, Charlie and Doris, and my sister Lorene.

Buddy and Vera arrived first and parked thier camper in the “honeymoon suite”, so-called because the campsite, located right near the beach, stood in a lonely isolation from all the other campsites. A black top driveway led to two trailer slots, and the third camper fitted nicely on the end of the driveway, perfect for our kind of family camping and fun.

Before we got completely set up, with our name board and decorative lights hung outside, we heard the honking of a Canada goose. He came running, reached his long neck out, expecting a handout.

“Got any bread?” Al asked me.

“Sure,” knowing what he wanted it for. I rummaged around my grocery box, found the bread and handed him a heel.

Of course feeding the goose made him our constant companion for several days. One day Al walked up the steep hill to the bathhouse, and busily lathered up for a shave when he heard the awful honking outside. He put his shaving gear down, looked out the door, and saw the goose waiting impatiently for him to come out. “How did that goose know I was there?” He wondered. Not hard to figure out, as that goose followed him everywhere.

In the morning I took my watercolors, pad and small table under one arm, and my lawn chair under the other and walked down to the beach to paint the bay and the mountains beyond. The goose came running up the beach and poked around in my painting supplies. No bread there, and soon he waddled on up to the camper for his daily bread handout.

One morning Vera, buddy, Al and I decided to take our canoes out and paddle around the point and out to the highway bridge over the creek.

We turned our canoes right side up, fastened seats in, donned lifejackets, tossed our paddles in and carried it down to the shore. Al held the canoe close to the shore while I climbed in, and I held steady with my paddle while he climbed in. We paddled a few feet out in the water to wait for Vera and Buddy to get situated too, then turned our bows into the waves and headed out.

We paddled slowly, savoring the day when Al said “look who’s behind us.”

I turned to see our friend the goose paddling along behind us. Soon he reached us, paddle between our two canoes and settled down for the trip. Occasionally he would dive under and come up on the outside of one of the canoes and swim alongside for a while.

We heard the putt putt of a fishing boat in the distance. As the boat drew near the fisherman spotted the goose paddling along with us. They watched as long as they kept us insight. We made quite a picture.

As we paddled parallel to the shore we saw several pairs of geese, followed by their goslings, swimming along the shoreline, but our friend made no attempt to join them.

Later in the week that goose deserted us, and we didn’t understand why. We discovered later that someone down of the marina began feeding him M&Ms.

Dry bread can’t hold a candle to M&Ms.

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