For the past three years, I have been lucky enough to reside in apartment complexes that have a close proximity to water and thus, water fowl. For two years, I lived in Wood Dale with a direct view of a little pond, home to countless Canadian Geese as well as some of the feistiest Mallards I’ve ever come across. Unfortunately, even though we had a ground floor apartment, I did not have much opportunity to observe the birds there very much because the Canadian geese would charge me and the roomie if we ever tried to go out on the patio (they were nesting right in front of our patio and always felt threatened by us, alas). I feel a great deal of animosity towards Canadian geese for that reason, among others. The Mallards there were not seen as much as they were heard. I have fond memories of waking up many mornings with a smile on my face, hearing the cheerful quacking of the Mallards right outside my bedroom window. For the most part the two types of birds stayed clear of each other.
Things are not the same here at this apartment complex I am at now. Since I moved in a year ago, I noticed that the two types of birds are more confrontational at this complex. I have seen the Mallards waddling, chasing off Canadian geese and vice versa.
As some of you may know, I will be moving back to Orland Park at the end of this month. I took a break last week, after I got home from work and just sat outside and watched the pond for a bit. And I saw the most curious thing…
A male Mallard was waddling along with a Canadian Goose. Amicably. I wish I could have gotten a picture but it was too dark. I was stunned, as I see the Mallards and Canadian geese facing off on the pond, floating like battleships, squaring off against each other. I quite enjoy watching them duke it out sometimes. It is the funniest thing watching a gang of Mallards chase off a Canadian goose, quacking away while goose brethren honk in the distance…
Whenever I would see the gangs of water fowl, I would immediately think of West Side Story’s song, “Jet Song”. The Mallards became the Jets and the Canadian geese became the Sharks in my head.
So naturally when I saw this unusual mingling of Mallard and Canadian Goose, I envisioned Tony the Mallard “Jet” and Maria the Canadian Goose “Shark”.
I’m moving in two weeks. I won’t be around to see how their bizarre love story will work out. But I hope they make it. Hopefully, there’s a place for them. After all, everyone deserves love. Even if they are a goose or a duck.