• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 05
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Imprinting Is A Thing

At the start we all thought it endearing. Then, as time passed, maybe a little bit odd. But we all just accepted – imprinting is a thing. The boy had cared for that egg ‘til it hatched and voilà! Never one without other; first at school, then to work. They were our very own, small-town eccentricity, living happily in our midst; often seen out and about in those days, for a chat or a laugh.

As the years stacked up, the boy became a man, but he never did pair up to settle down. There were questions asked, of course there were> The town didn’t have so many young bucks that it could afford not to keep an eye out for possibilities. But little pressure was applied and no offence was taken.

Years passed and, as is always the way, all too soon those years turned into decades. By that time the only remarked upon fact of the man and his bird was that that goose had reached a remarkable age! No one could tell of another.

Then a particularly harsh winter had snow on the ground for nearly three months solid, and hardly anyone saw anyone; we were too busy keeping out the cold. But, after the thaw, when we all turned out to compare our tales of hardship and adventure, there was little sign of Ben and his goose, beyond just enough sightings for folk not to feel the need to pursue a re-acquaintance.

Afterwards, of course, we all voiced the misgivings we had, and cast about for workable excuses as to why our voices had remained silent on the matter. Yet it wasn’t until the Easter picnic that Ben finally turned up with Bill tucked securely under his arm. And in that moment, after all those years, we finally realized just how close they were. On that day, when a now quite bald Ben gave in to the whim of donning a toupée... and Bill did too.