Sharon K. Solomon's Children's Books


Brady’s Thanksgiving Surprise


            “Saturday is our special day,” Grandma said to Brady.

            “It’s just you and me, Grandma. No Mommy, no Daddy, no baby brother, no sister. Just us.”


            “That’s right, and we can do whatever we want. But first I want to show you something over at the pond.”


            Brady held Grandma’s hand as they crossed the street.  The warm wind and sun felt like a cozy blanket covering them as they walked. Spring had finally arrived and the flowers were beginning to flower.


            “Look,” said Brady. “It’s a robin!”


            “We’ll see lots more now that winter is over.  Come here, Brady, and look at the tree stump near the water.”


            Grandma pointed to a small brown stump down the hill.  “Sh. I don’t want to frighten the
mother goose, so let’s just stay up here.”


            “It’s a girl?” Brady whispered.


            “Yes, the mother goose.” A large goose was lying on the stump with her long black neck stretched out and her head resting on the ground. A streak of white ran along her
black face like a mask.


            “She’s not doing anything. Just sitting there,” said Brady.


            “That’s because she’s sitting on her nest. She’s keeping the eggs warm until they hatch.”


            They stood, hand in hand, watching the goose. Other Canada geese were swimming in the
pond and some ducks were standing on the shore across the way.


            “Those birds over there don’t look the same,” Brady pointed.


            “That’s because they are Mallard ducks. The male ducks have pretty green heads and the females are brown. The larger birds with the black and white heads and long necks are called Canada geese. This one is going to have babies soon.”


            “When? Can I watch?” asked Brady.


            “I
think it takes about a month for the eggs to hatch.”


            “Can we come here every Saturday?” asked Brady.

             “Let’s visit every Saturday until they hatch!” said Grandma.


            Visiting the pond became a weekly event. The next Saturday was a bit chilly and the wind pushed them across the street as Brady and Grandma walked to the pond.


            “There she is!” shouted Brady.


            “Remember to be quiet when we get nearby. See the goose standing behind the tree? That’s a male goose or gander, and he’s watching over the mother goose to protect her and the eggs. He won’t let anyone get close,” warned Grandma.


            “She’s still sitting there with her head on the ground. Doesn’t she ever get up?”


            “She gets up once in the early morning and again later in the afternoon to eat and walk and swim. The gander watches over the eggs to protect them. Then she goes right back to the nest to keep her eggs warm.”


            When Brady and Grandma came to the pond on the third week, they noticed something
different.


            “Where are the other ducks and geese?”


            “It was time for them to migrate or fly north for the summer. They’ll be back in the fall,” said
Grandma. “I suppose these two are staying around until the eggs hatch.”


“I can’t wait! Look, Grandma, she’s standing up.”


            They watched as the mother goose quickly got up and moved her tail feathers up and down.


            “I see three eggs in the nest,” said Grandma.  “Look quickly! They’re small and light tan. Maybe next week she’ll have her babies.”


            Grandma and Brady didn’t even wear jackets on the fourth week because it was so warm and sunny. Brady was pulling Grandma by the hand and running as fast as his little feet could carry him.


            And there they all were in the pond! The father goose was swimming in the front followed by three fluffy yellowish-brown baby geese and the mother goose in the back.


            “It’s a parade!” shouted Brady.


             They stood on the shore watching the new family swimming and diving and eating.


 

            “These guys are just babies. I can’t believe they’re already swimming. I just learned this year, and it wasn’t easy,” said Brady.


            “If you had feathers and webbed feet, you’d be a great swimmer.”


            During May and June, Grandma and Brady visited the pond every Saturday. Each week the babies grew bigger and bigger. Soon their fluffy feathers were replaced with brown feathers on their bodies and black and white ones on their heads and necks.


            “They are beginning to look like their mom and dad,” said Brady.


            Then one Saturday, Brady and Grandma went to the pond and had a surprise.


            “They’re gone!” said Brady. “Where did they go?”


            “Maybe they went north to be with the other Canada geese.”


            “Will they ever come back?” asked Brady.


            “Let’s wait and see.”


            Each Saturday Brady and Grandma visited the pond, but the geese weren’t there.  Soon the weather got chilly and the leaves began changing colors.


            “Thanksgiving is next week, Brady. I hope our goose family is safe and sound, wherever they are,” said Grandma.


            “Me, too.”


            On Thanksgiving, Brady and his brother Luke and his sister Ella and his mom and dad came to Grandma’s house for dinner.


            “Can we go to the pond?” asked Brady.


            “It’s not Saturday,” joked Grandma.


 

            “Let’s go anyway!” said Brady.


            While the turkey was cooking, the entire family made their way across the street to the pond. Brady pulled his sister Ella’s hand to show her the way. “Look! They’re back!” Brady jumped up and down.


            Brady and Ella counted twenty Canada geese and six Mallard ducks. Some geese were swimming and others were feeding on the grass. The ducks were swimming on the other side.


            “Which ones are our geese?” asked Brady.


            “They all look alike,” said Grandma. “I don’t know.”


            “It’s just like the real Thanksgiving,” Brady told everyone. “See the ducks and the geese? It’s like the Indians and the Pilgrims. Two different groups getting to know each other. I hope they become friends just like the Indians and Pilgrims did.”


            Everyone laughed. As they headed back to have Thanksgiving dinner, they listened to the honks of the geese and the quacks of the ducks.


            “Sounds like a very happy Thanksgiving,” said Grandma.