‘The Goose, the Golden Egg and the local’ | AspenTimes.com

‘The Goose, the Golden Egg and the local’

Once upon a time there was a small pond where a local and a flock of geese made their home. The local and the geese lived contentedly side by side for generations, since neither saw the other as anything other than ordinary. But as happens in nature, a passing flock of geese saw the lush field and unspoiled pond and came to visit the pond on their way to someplace more important.

Each year the migratory geese visiting the small valley brought along new generations of geese also thrilled at having a peaceful , unspoiled pond to rest and recuperate on their long journey to someplace else. Then one day, a goose laid a golden egg on the edge of the pond. It was a beautiful golden egg and both the geese and the local were content to simply look at it to enjoy it.

Inevitably, word of the golden egg spread and it became a sensation, bringing more and more geese to the pond in the hope that they too could lay a golden egg. The newly flocking geese left their droppings wherever they felt like it and ignored the warnings from the local that too many geese would spoil the water in the pond.

As it is in the world, larger geese, flocking to the pond and overcoming the objections of the smaller geese, made the pond their own. But the larger geese squabbled and fought over the pond so much that the smaller geese left because of all of the bickering.

Watching this from further and further away from his beloved pond, the local was soon dissuaded from visiting the pond because it bothered the geese. Though the egg had grown greatly, the local could now only glimpse the egg through sturdy iron bars that the geese had placed around their overcrowded pound to keep out any lesser geese from entering.

It was with a sense of deep loss and sadness that the day finally arrived when the geese protectors forced the local away from his pond permanently. He could’ve stayed, of course. But the reality that he could no longer see the pond, or the egg, denied him his enjoyment of his beloved pond. As the swelling geese population grew to crisis point, the local reluctantly said good-bye to his beloved pond, wondering aloud and alone whether the golden egg, and even the pond itself, as he remembered it, had all been a dream. Still, the flocking geese kept coming.

Paul Harris


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