Lucy the Goose
returned to home
And here’s the
rest of the story…
Express Staff Writer
riding his bike on the Fox Creek trail last Memorial Day, Rick Sharbinin
had to come to a stop when his dog was distracted by crows making a ruckus
in the trees. Sammy, the dog, managed to flush out what appeared to be a
day-old gosling, who naturally a bit confused, mistook Sharbinin for one
of its own, and hid under his bike.
the Goose is back with her foster parent, Rick Sharbinin of Ketchum.
Express photo by Dana DuGan
spread her little stubby wings out," and captured his heart, he said.
knew the goose was a female, prior to research, based on the fact that she
never shut up, he said. She is stubborn and noisy, he said in all
our Mountain Express Weekend Edition diarist told a story of a seemingly
tame Canada goose wandering around Ketchum, eating bagels.
call to the Express last week alerted us to the rest of the goose story—to
Sharbinin’s involvement and of the bond between a man, his dog and an
had taken her to his home in Ketchum, where he and Sammy raised the goose
they call Lucy Goosie (what else?). He didn’t cut her wings, because he
has been determined to teach her to fly eventually and migrate for the
winter to Hagerman with other Canada geese.
As part of
this program he regularly gives her what he calls a "Jack LaLaine"
workout to strengthen her wings. He also checks Web sites for ideas and
advice on how to go about the process of reintroducing her to her own
kind. In fact, Sharbinin has taken her back to the area where he found her
several times. They’ve spotted other geese there, but Lucy shows no
inclination to join these families.
has become the alpha goose, and she won’t leave his side.
Sharbinin’s many efforts to wean her from him is biking next to her as
she flies, but he cannot go fast enough. Eventually, Lucy lands and simply
waits for him.
flies so fast, the bike won’t keep up. I can’t get up enough speed
where she will feel comfortable with her own speed," he said.
One of his
ideas is to fly in an ultra-light plane to Hagerman once or twice so the
trip will be imprinted in Lucy’s instinctual memory.
ago, Lucy did test her wings on her own and ended up on the wrong side of
the fence. She walked undetected up the opposite side of Trail Creek from
her home. For a little while, sightings were reported in the Forest
Service Park during Ketch ’em Alive nights, but Sharbinin had no idea
what had happened to his goose.
Friday morning we reported the goose sighting, Tim East, of Names &
Numbers and 812 Band fame, saw a policeman herding the goose back into the
park. But she didn’t stay there.
the goose was in the middle of the street, and following me, so I went
over to The Bagel Place, and got a fresh bagel from Tonia," East
knowing her name was really Lucy— dubbed the goose Paté.
the goose walked over to the Forest Service Park after awhile, where
rehearsals for Shakespeare were taking place. As he was on a deadline, he
handed over the goose-sitting duties to Wiley Ellis, who happened to be
observing the theatrics.
drove Paté/Lucy to a pond at the north end of the Bigwood Golf Course,
where he released her, thinking that was that.
to Sharbinin, he heard that there was a Lucy-sighting at a dinner party on
the first fairway when she wandered into the garden.
after Ellis deposited Lucy at Bigwood, another friend saw posters around
town about a missing goose. One thing led to another, and Sharbinin was
informed about the golf course drop off. He searched the golf course area
daily but, other than the garden party sighting, she had all but
would I go if I was a goose?" Sharbinin remembers musing. "I
finally found her on the fifth tee, watching them play golf, in Bigwood
Sharbinin the gesture for picking her up —she curls her head around and
tucks it in her wing. But Sammy having not seen her for three weeks
"freaked her out," he said. After a little struggle Lucy was
finally back at the only home she’s ever known, where she’s got a
kiddie pool, a mirror to peck at and some odd toys. And Sharbinin, who is
still Mother Goose.