By Alvin Fernando
When you think of the College of Coastal Georgia, what first comes to your mind? The lemon-fresh feel of the routinely wiped down gym equipment in the Fitness Center? Or maybe it’s the sound of morning dew squeaking underneath your rubber soles while walking to your 8 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and dubiously Friday.
Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the unpleasant goose-droppings scattered in and around the sand volleyball courts on the Brunswick campus. Among those droppings typically stands a very special and mysterious goose to this campus. The nameless foul, which spends most of it time around the lake, has been catching people’s attention recently for one outstanding characteristic.
No, it’s not that he’s a native of Canada (and no relation to Justin Bieber), but rather the fact that he has one leg.
If you haven’t seen the one-legged goose, you may have heard about him and his hobbling ways. Some students have dubbed him “nubbin’,” referencing his nub for a left leg. They say he mostly camps out around the lake in grassy spots just north of the on-campus residence halls.
Although challenged in the area of mobility, the goose has not lost his senses. He regularly scans the area around the lake and outdoor basketball courts, periodically inching forward toward the rest of the flock, only taking flight at the most serious of disturbances.
Over the summer, CCGA held several summer-long projects and on-site programs such as on-site summer camps, the basketball courts, challenge course maintenance, and installation of the new Adirondack chairs and tables. All projects were set near to where the goose resides.
For some of those workers who toiled in the hot summer sun, the bird has become a mascot of their shared sweat equity.
While working outside on some lighter projects for Mariner Recreation, student assistants had many opportunities to see the goose in action during the off-season.
The goose rolls (or hops) solo for the most part, which genuinely assists in adding to his rogue and wild nature. Regardless of his deficiency, he exudes stoical nature effortlessly. Think Stonewall Jackson circa 1863.
And while we’re all for moments of solitude it doesn’t take a wildlife specialist to quickly infer that our Goose wouldn’t mind having a Maverick around. #TopGunReference.
On one hot summer day, a few workers put that theory to the test, persuading the goose to relocate towards the gaggle (flock of geese).
He made slow progress at first, hopping, then flying into the middle of the lake. Initially, the other geese paid him little mind, yet once the one-legged goose entered their clique, they all swam away from him.
The potential reasons for the one-legged goose’s segregation are endless.
No one truly knows why he’s been banned from the flock. It could be that he just has a bad personality. It could be that he’s a jerk of a goose and that’s why others don’t get along with him.
Holly Hammer, a senior nursing major, seems to believe otherwise.
“I think he’s different, and that’s why the others don’t play with him,” She lamented. “He always seems pretty chill out there, you know; doing his thing.’’
Senior business major, Tyler Barber concurred with Hammer.
“I’ve never seen the goose out there, but I guess the other geese don’t hang out with him because he has one leg.
“The only one-legged goose I’ve ever seen was at the zoo, so maybe he escaped and came here,” Barber continued. “I’ve heard they have a high rate of animal escapes… just kidding.”
Gabby O’Sullivan a junior and American Studies Major chimed in on the topic as well.
“I think one-legged birds are the best! It’s just better than getting around on two feet,” O’Sullivan said. “They make me think of home. I see a lot of one-legged seagulls in Perth, Australia where I’m from.”
No one knows for sure what exactly happened to the goose’s leg. Some suggest he got in a fight with a dog. Others suspect the leg is now in the belly of a snapping turtle.
Whatever the case may be, the unpaid and unofficial mascot is here to stay until he migrates. Hopefully, by then he will have made peace with the rest of the flock or vice versa.
Geese fly in V-formations and the energy saved during during group flight can be up to 50 percent. Let us hope that he reads this article and is encouraged to hobble through another day.
If you happen to see the goose out and about, shoot The Crow’s Nest a picture of him via Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the hashtag “#1leggedgoose”.