One year I lived in the northern part of Canada, near a blue lake, with green trees all around. That part of Canada is also the home of the wild geese, and I longed to hear their «honk.» When the wild geese come, it means that the snow will soon melt, and the game will be back in the brown hills, that the winter is over and the warm, bright days will be here. This is the message that the honk of the wild geese, flying in the sky, brought to our ancestors thousands of years ago, and this is the message that I waited for.

I wanted to hear the call of the honkers. But there were no wild geese on my lake, so I brought a pair of blacknecks from another lake, and they made their nest on a little island on my lake. Soon, in a bed of soft gray down, lay six great ivory eggs. The patient mother sat on them four weeks without rest, except in the afternoon, when she left them for half an hour.

And round and round that island the gander swam about, like a war-ship on patrol. I tried to land and see the nest one day. The goose sitting on the eggs quacked to warn the gander of danger. There was a long, sharp hiss, and before my boat could touch the shore, the gander was between me and the island and faced me, ready to fight. Evidently, I could land on their island only over his dead body. So I left them in peace.