… be half as motivated?
A nature enthusiast with a prominent funny bone once shared with me a humorous tale. “In the days when there were no GPS,” I was told, “there was a gentleman with an itch for adventure and a thirst for his drink, though he never mixed the two. One of his trips took him to southern India where, after several days in the company of nature, he yearned for a drink. He asked around for the closest watering hole and couldn’t get the bearings for one. By sheer luck he came across a group of birders who pointed to the sky and exclaimed: “Look! The Bar-Headed Geese!” His eyes wide as saucers, the gentleman immediately set out behind the geese.
After a few winters, I was at lunch with a friend who has a limited interest in wildlife. “Bar-headed Geese,” I told him, “travel from Central Asia and fly over Mount Everest and endure several such hardships during the course of migration, yet every winter they make it south without fail.”
In what appeared to be deep contemplation and a mental visualization of the geese flying over the snow-capped Himalaya, my friend bit into his burger. I had a preemptive sense of accomplishment as a nature evangelist. He chewed as he mulled over what I had just told him and after sipping some soda, he asked, “Why do they do that – doesn’t the name explain the motivation?”
I have used the name Anser indicus for the Bar-headed Goose ever since and it continues to remind me of the anserine observation shared with me that winter.
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