Wild Goose Chase

Julie M. Zauzmer

When Camille S. Owens '13 spotted a large white bird through the window of the Pfoho dining hall, she thought she might as well go outside to take a gander.

After getting a closer look at the goose, Owens and friends determined that the animal appeared misplaced, and called HUPD and the Cambridge Police Department. Both police departments said they did not need to respond to the animal if it wasn't hurt, and the ASPCA didn't pick up the phone on a Saturday night.

The goose, adorned with snow-white feathers, was in appearance unlike the Canadian geese found around Fresh Pond. Since it exhibited a tame demeanor around people, Owens and the other birdwatchers suspected that the goose might be somebody's pet.

A crowd of spectators gradually gathered outside of Pfoho. "They mate for life," Cabot resident Samuel F. Himel '13 commented, googling up the visiting species on his phone.

Pfoho security guard Peter Flynn told the concerned crowd said that there is "no policy" for dealing with animals near a House—he's seen skunks, possums, raccoons, and feral cats in his time, and he's left them all undisturbed. However, due to Flynn's suspicion that this placid goose was domesticated, he called his supervisor. "I wouldn't want the bird to die."

But when the two Securitas road supervisors Flynn had summoned arrived by van, they weren't nearly as sympathetic. "The bird's not hurting anybody," said one of the supervisors, who declined to give his name. "The law of the jungle's gotta take effect."

Flynn pointed out that the goose was unafraid of people or cars, to which the supervisor responded, "So are pigeons."

Flynn insisted, "Geese are a higher order," and dining hall employee Melanie Bizarrea protested, "That's not fair. He's completely lost...don't laugh about it."

But in the end, the goose was left to its own devices outside of Pfoho. As the humans headed in from the cold, the supervisor jested, "Who's the owner of Hong Kong? What's the name? Come over here: free poultry."

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