Goose finds home, friends in cemetery
MARSHALLTOWN (AP) – For many Marshalltown residents, Riverside Cemetery represents more than just the final resting place of thousands of souls. The grounds see a fair share of people picnicking, going for walks and feeding the waterfowl who call the cemetery home.
One of the most recognizable creatures who inhabits the land is Goosey Goose, a 15-year-old goose who has gained a fan following since coming to the cemetery one year ago, the Times-Republican reported.
The goose was born on an acreage outside of Melbourne, owned by Nancy Adams and Jeff Braddock.
Nineteen years ago, the couple acquired two adult geese who were infertile for several years.
Finally, the pair produced two offspring – Goosey Goose and his brother Joe.
After Goosey Goose’s parents and brother died through the years, the goose became visibly lonely.
“Very soon after the mother died in December 2013, Goosey Goose’s behavior changed,” Adams said. “He would sit next to my truck to see his reflection on the side.
“So we put up mirrors on trees, plus buckets of water, to keep him company.”
For a while the goose was placated, but Adams and Braddock came to realize the goose would thrive around other birds.
They contacted Riverside Cemetery and see if their beloved family pet could relocate to the cemetery’s pond.
On July 21, 2014, the family put the goose in a crate and released him to the grounds. Adams returned to the cemetery daily, wanting to make sure Goosey Goose was content with the change of scenery, but he had disappeared.
She realized the goose was roaming the vast area of the cemetery, going further from the pond than other birds did.
In time, Goosey Goose formed a bond with two other geese of a similar species and the three birds are often spotted waddling across paths and swimming as a group, in what Riverside’s staff terms “Goosey and his posse.”
While the goose had a baby pool to use at Adams’ residence, it was at Riverside he got to swim fully.
Today, Adams and her son, Levi Castle, visit their goose regularly. Adams stops by once a week or so to feed Goosey Goose, who will eat out of her hand and sit nearby.
Adams’ love of Goosey Goose inspired her to pen a children’s story about the goose’s life, a book she is currently writing.
“It feels like we gave him a gift. The farm feels very different without him, but they’re so good to him at Riverside,” Adams concluded.