Once upon a time there was a little girl named Lara who went to visit her grandma. Grandma lived in a big old house with a sprawling veranda on a farm at the top of a hill. All around the house there was a fence covered in vines and bushes. There were lots of flowers, and some lazy cats and a woodshed where bad things lurked in the dark. Outside the fence was the rest of the farm – the barn and the tractor, wagons, cows and horses and other scary stuff. Grandma was always yelling at people to close the gate, but it was fun to open it and swing on it if you forgot.
On this particular sunny day, a big old gander wandered into the yard through the open gate and waddled right up on to the veranda. At first Lara was delighted with the company. She wanted to know his name, and grandpa told her it was ”Christmas Dinner”. Then grandma came out with a broom and tried to shoo him off the porch and out of the yard. The gander was understandably insulted and miffed and refused to go. The harder grandma tried, the more stubborn he became. Perhaps he didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Finally he became quite annoyed. He spread his wings and ran towards Lara with a horrifying HISSS. She squealed and tried to back up, but suddenly found herself plopped down on the ground with her arms around her head and then she started to cry.
It’s good to know that every child has a fairy godmother hanging around just waiting for a chance to be helpful. Lara’s Aunt M. suddenly appeared out of nowhere and snatched her up into the air. She dried her tears and kissed her face and then told Lara that she would help her get the goose to the other side of the fence. It seemed impossible. And dangerous. But you don’t say these things to a red-headed aunt you adore who has just saved your life.
The two of them went to the outdoor pump and together they filled a dipper with water. Aunt M. said they would coax the gander out of the yard with this. Lara was skeptical, but the thing with fairy godmothers is that you have to believe in them.
And guess what? It worked like magic. The gander followed the dipper out through the gate, and there he took so many drinks of water that Lara thought maybe they had saved his life too.