Charles Reace

Why Did the Goose Cross the Road?

There are a lot of geese living in my area. I've often wondered why they waddle across the streets from one lawn to another, where I can discern no difference in the quality or quantity of grass to be eaten. I sometimes wondered if it was a case of the proverbial "grass is greener on the other side of the fence."

I understand why they don't fly the short distance, as that would spend a lot more energy (and calories) than slowly waddling across the road, making cars stop or swerve to avoid them — if they're lucky. But why risk annihilation by automobile, as well as having to walk barefoot on hot pavement in the summer?

Then it hit me today, as I was out for a walk and dodging goose droppings on the sidewalk.

My theory, which I call my own, which is as follows (Monty Python geek reference), is that geese cross the road to get away from their excrement. Just as we, as a rule, don't like to step on poop (whether from a goose or anyone else); it stands to reason that geese don't, either. After an hour or so of munching grass on one lawn, and ejecting approximately the same amount of undigested waste, I imaging that a lawn which, as far as they know, has not been pooped on as recently, would seem a more enticing place for the next meal.

Remember: you heard it here, first. Now I'm off to file a paper at Plos Biology or such. Check back soon for equally deep insights into life, the universe, and everything.

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