‘What on earth is he doing there?’
‘He’s a long way from water!’
‘He looks tame!’
I met this goose up the lane. Perched on a garden seat, unruffled at seeing me.
The house owner came out carrying some scraps in a bowl.
‘Is he yours?’, I asked.
‘Well, not exactly, but he comes twice a day to feed and sometimes he stays all day! I’d miss him if he didn’t fly in.’
I smiled and asked if I could take a picture. The goose didn’t mind, he just posed for me and then flapped over to his enticing bowl.
As I walked home I thought about what I’d seen and realised that I’d just witnessed a touching scene of mutual friendship.
Here’s what I learnt about friendship from a goose in an old man’s garden.
- Friendship can come in many forms.
Sometimes it’s difficult to see why people make friends. ‘What do they have in common?’, we ask ourselves.
Perhaps the goose fulfilled the old man’s desire to be caring, to be needed, to be relied on.
That’s what human friends are for. Friends care for and about one another, they fulfill a need, they rely on one another.
- Friendship helps us think outside our own lives.
We want to help, support, empathise with our friends. We forget about our own situation for a while and focus on our friends.
The old man did just that. He cared about what happened to the goose. He made sure it was fed and watered. It took him out of himself for a while, every day.
- Friendship helps to shape us.
By sharing our happiness, our problems, our tears, our fun, we grow and develop as people. Friends point us in new directions, help us to spread our wings, overcome obstacles.
That goose added something to the old man’s life. He looked forward to the goose’s visits, he valued them, he’d miss his feathered friend if the friendship ended. And I’d like to think the goose would miss the old man if he moved away.
Aristotle said: ‘Friendship is essentially a partnership.’
Have you met any unusual partnerships, like the old man and the goose?
When and where did you meet your best friends?
We’d love to hear about them.
Header image courtesy of abyreed on Flickr.
- What is the true meaning of friendship? (telegraph.co.uk)