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Gabby Goose Gets Going

Brenda Havens | Anne Gavitt

Every day, a little goose paddled with his family on sparkling Lake Superior. But on this day, something very scary happened.


A gigantic ship charged through.

The little goose tried to dive under water like Mama, but every time he tried, he turned a somersault and bobbled back up.


The little goose and all his family scattered every-which-way.

Now the little goose shook, quaked, quivered and quavered. He looked all around.

“Quaawwk?” His family was gone.

The little goose bobbed up and down on the waves all night long, feeling so very alone and afraid.

At sun-up-time, the goose’s belly bumped onto pebbly sand.

He twitched his neck around, checking this new beach for danger, or family, or anything.

The goose saw something moving.

He waddled forward, and stopped.

“Grrggh, grrggh.” Head bobbing on his long, skinny neck, he stepped forward, smooshing webbed feet through sand and snow.

Noel thudded his crutches into the sand, by the campfire.

“Dumb broken leg,” he sighed, remembering the ski catastrophe.

He felt sad, and so alone.

All his family was skiing, and he had to stay back in the beach-side ski cabin with Nami.


Noel jerked his head, looking up.

“Hi. I’m Noel.”

The little goose swiveled his head, studying the boy’s face.



The little goose inched forward.


“I’m naming him Gabby,” Noel whispered.

They walked along the shore, Noel’s crutches clumping and clunking, over ice-chunks, Gabby the goose gumboling and gamboling along.

A bungly, blundery pair, they were.

And then, Gabby screeched — quawk! He went down.

“Quawk!” Gabby wiggled and twisted, and slipped under a boat.

Noel tried to push the boat right side-up, but it was stuck in the icy snow.

“Gaaa gaaa gaaa.” Gabby felt afraid and very cold.

And then, Noel thought, “I’ll bet my crutch would make a good lever.”

He used his crutch to push the boat — up and over.

The two hobbled home very slowly.

Every day that week, Gabby followed Noel.

And every night he clucked and gurgled as he took treats from everyone.

Noel worried. “What will happen to Gabby when we leave?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” Nami said.

“But, Nami, winter has started. Geese fly to warm places, together. Who will he fly with?”

Every night, Noel wondered. What would Gabby do, alone, all winter long?

On the last night, Noel sat for a long time on the porch with Gabby.

In the morning, Noel saw flickers of black in the sky.

A flock of geese alit on the sand, right in front of the cabin.

“Grrrrgghhh! Grrrrgghhh!”

“Grrrrrgh. Cack-cack,” said the other geese. Gabby scuttled forward, approaching a tall gander with a shorter goose beside him.

“Grrrrgghhh,” she said softly. Could this be Gabby’s mom?

“It’s a family reunion!” Nami whispered.

Nami and Noel watched as the flock lifted into the air, making a big “V”.

A few minutes later, the geese lit into the air, swooped around the cove, and headed south: south, for the winter, together.

“Yes!” Noel ran to the family-filled van, ready to return home.

About Brenda Havens

Brenda Havens is a public school teacher and a published writer, with a background in newspaper journalism. She is currently writing a series of children's books. Currently an active member of The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group in Eastern Pennsylvania, Brenda Havens chaired the 2014 conference, The Write Stuff, in Allentown. The Gabby story came from a true incident when she and her husband and recently stayed in a cabin on Lake Superior.

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