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Poetry: Novelty

The Goose

The golden eggs, of course, were a great source of income for the farm and much appreciated. Having read of the mistakes made by previous owners of similar geese, they had no interest in determining, by dissection, the physiology of this remarkable process. (This was true even though there were several eager researchers chomping at the bit. The most popular theory was a sort of cold fusion of calcium atoms.)

Since there was only one such goose on the farm, laying only one egg a day and since its eggs were infertile with no reasonable hope that another such bird would hatch from the normal eggs of the others, the income was limited. (This was in the old days before cloning had become a real possibility.)

So, when the farm came upon hard times due to general economic conditions, the cost effectiveness of all aspects of the operation had to come under scrutiny. It was nothing personal about the goose but simply required by the overall needs of the organization.

Therefore, to comply with the guidelines, the goose, even though it represented a department of one, had to be downsized by 10% just the same as every one else. As this was interpreted to be "by weight," removal of the feathers was discovered, after the fact, to be insufficient.

While the debate raged regarding the relative importance of wings and legs for one that needed only to stay in the nest and lay eggs, the goose gradually sickened and stopped laying. After there had been no eggs for some time, the focus of the discussion shifted.

Since the new hired hands did not know the history of the goose, it looked to them to be only a rather pathetic creature of no known usefulness. Therefore, when a need arose, it was eaten and its place on the farm taken by some birds that were claimed to be swans, although not everyone agreed that they were genuine.

Ross Olson

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