Farewell to Mother Goose?

It's a scene that would have made Alfred Hitchcock jealous.

Scores of squawking and squabbling seagulls surround Reen Little Brook as he feeds dozens of geese on the banks of the Charles River.

The gulls and geese are fighting over scraps of bread and poppyseed bagel he tosses out. Normally he nourishes the geese with cracked corn, but today, plain bread will have to do.

"They don't take too kindly to sweet bread. For one, it's not nutritious," he explains.

Geese have lived along Magazine Beach for nearly two decades, since several birds were first brought there by an employee at the nearby water purification plant. Now the geese number around 80. Little Brook has been coming to feed them for five years.

The geese know Little Brook, and Little Brook knows the geese. He has named some of the birds after their physical features. He can identify all of them by appearance and personality.

He points out one goose with a bump on his beak. It makes sense that Little Brook has named the goose Bumpy.

"He's the senior citizen. He's a very, very smart duck," he says of his winged friend. "He's a character. He's very astute, serious and very, very cautious. He's gregarious but he can be aloof at times."