Another goose spotting:
After thinking that I’d found all the dressed goose statues in my neighborhood, I found this fowl a block from home, on a Sunday evening walk with Clementine after a windstorm. The pooch wasn’t interested in the goose, but I almost tripped on a fallen branch on the sidewalk while gawking.
I had to cross the street to take the picture.
I believe this beaked angel is plastic, but I can’t be sure; I hesitated to go onto the porch to inspect it. I do think the goose’s outfit is quite fetching, however.
Wait… are those stuffed arms? Geese don’t have arms!
Which makes me wonder why a goose needs angel wings to begin with.
I seriously thought this goose-dressing craze went out of fashion decades ago.
Useless lawn goose history:
The lawn goose first appeared in the Upper Ohio River Valley in the 1980s, an area that begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and extends southward toward northern Kentucky. A 1995 Chicago Sun Times article identifies Kentucky as the birthplace of the concrete form of the ornamental lawn goose family.
The Sun Times also states that the fad of dressing your lawn goose like a fairy or Halloween pumpkin likely began in Indiana or Illinois, whereas a 1998 Chicago Tribune article suggested Ohio.
I was living in Ohio in 1990, and remember them well.
Whether this fad began in Illinois, Indiana, or Ohio is debatable, but, by the 90s, dressing geese in clothing had waddled into full swing and subsequently migrated across the nation, honking the entire way.
Chicago Sun Times reporter Judy Markey interviewed owners of concrete geese who purchased entire wardrobes for their statues, including negligees and curlers, and leopard-spotted bikinis and sunglasses. Unfortunately, I’ve seen bikini clad geese in my neighborhood.
Markey noted the small town fad spread to the South Loop of Chicago, where apparently one owner filled three bureau drawers with goose clothing.
The Good Luck Goose
Geese have become a nuisance in parks and golf courses, but they were once revered. Would you believe they actually helped the early American pioneer survive the wilderness?
Geese served as an alarm for the pioneers against predatory animals and other humans. I’m sure you know how territorial geese can be. They go after anything they see as a threat. They are so nasty that WikiHow even has instructions on how to thwart a goose attack.
Geese also provided a valuable service for the gardens of the pioneers as they love to munch on invasive insects that damaged crops.
And of course, we consume geese. Their feathers are still used for quilts, bedding and pillows. A healing balm made from geese was used to treat wounds.
So, apparently, the goose as a symbol of survival and good luck has been deeply ingrained in the American psyche, dating back hundreds of years. I guess it’s no surprise that we’d end up with cement versions on our lawns, although I think the trend is waning.
Read about my other lawn goose spottings (as opposed to goose droppings)
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of the award-winning novel In the Context of Love, a story about one woman’s need to tell her truth without shame.
2017 New Apple Book Awards Official Selection
2016 Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2016 Readers’ Favorite Finalist
2016 USA Book News Best Book Finalist
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River,and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters
“With tenderness, but without blinking, Linda K. Sienkiewicz turns her eye on the predator-prey savannah of the young and still somehow hopeful.” ~ Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of the #1 NY Times Bestseller, Deep End of the Ocean
Linda’s essay “My Horrible Celebrity Crush” is included in this fun new anthology from McFarland Books:
IDOL TALK: Woman Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives
In the midst of acne, social anxiety and training bras are the teen idols that make adolescent life a little more bearable. Whether their cutouts are plastered on bedroom walls or hidden behind locker doors, there is no denying the impact of these stars on young women. This collection of new essays explores with tenderness and humor the teen crushes of the past 50 years–from Elvis to John Lennon to Diana Ross–who have influenced the choices of women, romantically or otherwise, well into adulthood.
Edited by Elizabeth Searle and Tamra Wilson. Foreword by Peter Noone of Herman and the Hermits. Format: softcover (7 x 10), 252 pages, 70 photos