The Elusive Goose

What in the world is an elusive goose!?

Let me tell you.

When I used to stay with my dad’s parents overnight, I remember my Nonnie would often be up late, on the computer in the room next to mine. She was on the computer a lot, and as I got older, I would be on when she wasn’t, because I liked to write, and of course the easiest way to do that was through use of Microsoft Word. I also remember that she had this Mahjong game installed on her computer—a simple one that just involved matching the tiles until they all disappeared, and I loved to play it, too, especially because it was kind of like a quest, with different levels, with the objective of each level to unlock and match the golden yin and yang tiles. Anyway. There was a tile with an illustration of some type of bird on it, that resembled a chicken or a goose—I never really could tell which. (Come to think of, it may also have resembled a peacock…) Sometimes, Nonnie would sit in a chair close by and watch me play, and see matches that I didn’t.

I don’t remember how it began. Maybe I was having a particularly hard time finding matches to that certain tile, and started to complain about it. I think, in a very quick voice, I said something like, “I hate that stupid chicken!” and she laughed. Then, perhaps the same night or maybe it was another one, perhaps out of nowhere, in a funny, quirky voice, I called that bird “the elusive goose!” and she laughed again. So I did it again, and again, and I kept saying that because she kept laughing.

Nonnie has a new computer now, and we don’t have that Mahjong game anymore, but I wonder if she remembers that time. I think I’ll email her a link to this post and see. Maybe she’ll smile and laugh again.

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