Lysander the Gander


There was a young goose and his name was Lysander.
He lived with his mother and his father the Gander.
He had four little sisters, and many young cousins.
and the farm where they lived had ducks by the dozens.

Lysander was handsome, boastful and vain.
He regarded the ducks with distaste and disdain.
He’d swagger and strut round the pond on the green,
He was the most arrogant goose you’ve ever seen.

His mother advised him to stop showing off
She was concerned, but Lysander did nothing but scoff.
He was proud but his mother had kindled his anger
‘Just wait. I’ll show you, when I’m the top Gander’.

He had magnificent wings, feathers pure white
He couldn’t wait ’til they’d be ready for flight.
His eyes were sharp, beady and bright.
He was known as the gosling with incredible sight.

His beak was just right, shapely and yellow.
He really thought he was the best looking fellow.
He loved his feet with their large webbed toes.
Great for swimming and handing out blows!

His father, the Gander, decided to try
and persuade him that beauty disappears by and by.
But Lysander would not listen to a word from the wise.
Their words of advice he would loath and despise.

In vain his mother attempted to explain,
From swaggering and boasting he should refrain
He could not comprehend all the dangers ahead
Wasn’t interested in anything his parents had said.

One evening, with frost freshly covering the ground
Lysander was busy experimenting with sound.
He practiced honking, hissing and spitting .
Some of his noises were simply ear-splitting.

From where he was sitting, behind a farm shed,
He failed to notice the movement or tread
of the fox who was hunting, looking for supper.
If he had, he’d be looking for somwhere to scupper.

But the gosling was preoccupied, engrossed in his work
Unaware that possible danger might lurk,
only feet away, hidden by the dark of the night.
He honked and hissed on unaware of his plight.

Suddenly a dog barked and the gander and goose
woke up from their dozing …a fox on the loose?
Counting their goslings, they noticed one short,
Lysander! they realised, sharing the thought.

The dog was excited and rushed passed the geese.
Lysander’s recital suddenly ceased.
Turning he caught sight of the red fox retreating.
He’d narrowly missed a dangerous meeting.

His heart was thumping inside his small breast.
He was frightened and felt very panicked and stressed.
He heard the dogs chasing the fox through the gate
and inwardly thanked them for reverting his fate.

A few moments later, his parents arrived
overjoyed to see that their son had survived.
They escorted him home, gently calming him down
But the gander had difficulty concealing his frown.

Next morning Lysander awoke from his sleep.
He walked to the barn door and took a quick peep.
One of the dogs was telling his tale
to an audience clammering for every detail.

The gosling turned back and in the dark shed
he felt the tears trickle and returned to his bed.
He felt so ashamed, humiliated and small
He wanted a hole into which he could crawl.

His mother came in and gave him a cuddle.
The rest of his siblings joined in the huddle
But the gander refrained, and later that day
He beckoned Lysander, his thoughts to convey.

He chided the gosling, to make sure that he knew,
From now on his vanity he would have to subdue.
He needed to concentrate on gaining the skills
to keep him alive, not silly vain frills.

Lysander had learned from his horrible mistake
He realised there was much of importance at stake.
From that day onwards, he listened and watched.
Any temptation to vanity he speedily scotched.

He became a great gander that all geese admired
and when his father grew old and retired
Lysander took over and became the top gander
an honour he valued, and treated with candour.





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