Life had settled into the usual routine of sleep, eat, walk, eat, swim, eat, sleep. Mama and Papa were always nearby, and never failed to visit us on the pond where my soft-hearted sweetheart would throw seed for them. My first act upon entering the living room every morning was to check out the window for them.

Later in the day, we’d take the dog around to visit with them on the ponds.

And that was the pattern of our days during May lockdown. The tensions of going out for groceries or some other essential were relieved by these visits. This family and ours are, after nine seasons together, friends – well, the parents are, anyway.

As I made arrangements with my doctors for a test in hospital, to calm myself I watched the family out our window as I talked. As my sweetheart struggled to overcome his health struggles of the previous twelve months, the family was our touchstone of life.

Then, one morning, I realised the inevitable had occurred. One of the Goslings was missing.

May 7 – And Then There Were Six

I looked and looked, hoping one was hidden behind Mama, but no. It happens pretty much every year. Sometimes the family will go from seven to five, or from five to two. It’s to be expected. There are predators and predators are persistent. Still, every year, we mourn.

That afternoon, we went out to the pond to check on them.

There were only six, but a more adventurous group of Goslings cannot be found anywhere. These guys were all over the place and such fun.

And this is where it stayed. Thank goodness. I’ll give you that spoiler.

May 9

Lockdown would become more difficult in the coming months, as we became increasingly isolated from life trying to return to normal. But this was still May, and those days were in the future.

Whilst they may not have been aware of the pandemic beginning to ravage our planet, they were surely aware of the changes in nature around them. The blessed silence, the sweet taste of the air, surely they were aware of those. For now, we looked forward to watching our family thrive until the day when the second inevitable moment came, and they flew.

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