Operation Nanny Duck

Ending A Wild Goose Chase With Keith Slugs

We all know there are certain things we only do for our spouses. Call it undying love, sacrifice, perhaps payback for years of putting up with our shenanigans, or simply, peace and quiet, because experience has shown we end up doing “it” anyway. You’ll know when these special requests come up by “the look.” Those with 30+ years of wedded bless know from whence I speak.

The white she-devil, Nanny Goose across the pond.

Nanny Goose

My latest “it” incident was the rescue of Nanny Goose, a large Chinese goose that apparently escaped from a nearby farm and was now residing in the neighborhood pond. She was either adopted by a flock of Canadian geese, or she decided to become the “Nanny” of the brood of young goslings. Either way, the large white goose and the Canadian geese lived peacefully together during the spring and summer.

My wife passed the pond daily during her walks, paying close attention to Nanny. As leaves started turning, the Canadians started migrating. Sometimes Nanny Goose had a new flock to keep her company, and sometimes she would be by her lonesome. During the lonely lulls, she would honk, calling out to any nearby passing Canadians. You can see where this is headed.

My wife started worrying about Nanny being lonely. How would she survive the upcoming winter? After all, Nanny was obviously a domestic goose not used to fending for herself. Research on my wife’s part showed domestic geese don’t eat the same things as Canadian Geese, so now another worry surfaced. Naturally, my wife started feeding Nanny.


My wife summoned the advice of a rescue farm. The owner validated my wife’s concerns and even responded three times to help us rescue her. Dubbed operation Nanny Goose, we tried to corral her with a large blanket. Although domestic geese can’t fly, you’d be amazed at how fast they can run. The first three missions of Operation Nanny Goose were flops.

My daughter was on break from veterinarian school and got involved. Even with her fleet of foot, knowledge, and sheer determination, her numerous attempts were also for naught. We needed a better plan. Thinking about the project, my wife still fed Nanny daily with her Goose Chow from Tractor Supply. Nanny was practically eating from her hand now.

Hula Hoop?

One day it came to me. I needed a throw net of sorts. It needed to be big, as Nanny is a big girl, and fast. The larger size would give me some leeway, too. I figured a hoop 4 feet in diameter would be about perfect. So, 4 feet times 3.14 would be 12.56 feet of ½-inch PVC tubing. I bought 15 feet of tubing with a coupling to connect the ends. Some decorative netting from Amazon for $7 was used to complete my throw net. I laced the two top layers of netting through the PVC tubing and connected the ends.

Feeling confident, my wife and I headed to the pond, loaded for Goose! As she fed Nanny, I tried flanking her so I could throw the net. Nanny dodged the first toss, and the second throw bounced off her. Retreating to the pond, we decided to stop so we wouldn’t scar her too much.

A few days later, we tried again. We were seeing first-hand how the saying “Go on a wild goose chase” came about. This was harder than we thought.

Cast Bullets?

Thinking it over, I decided a heavier net would give me more control when throwing it. What could I use? Yup, the answer was obvious. I had thousands of cast bullets in my basement. I went with some 300 grain .44 Keith bullets. Using 100 slugs, it added over 4 pounds of weight to my net. It also gave a more positive throw.

Nanny, in back of the Tahoe, headed to the farm.

Nanny Goose making friends with Virgil.

Mission Accomplished

It was Sunday evening and conditions were perfect. It was cold, cloudy and Nanny Goose was by her lonesome. She ran to my wife for her daily feeding. After a few gulps of feed, I flanked her again and she didn’t suspect a thing. Doing my best Tom Cruise impersonation, I said,” Talk to me, Goose!”

The release was clean, and Nanny never knew what hit her. The only problem? She could still run. My wife and I gave chase, but Nanny already made it to the pond, her head sticking through the net. She was at risk of drowning now!

My wife, showing total disregard for her own safety, went in. She grabbed the hoop and handed it to me as I re-scooped Nanny fully in the net. I then pulled my wife out of the pond. We transferred Nanny to a crate and drove her to the rescue farm. Nanny is one happy goose. She’s part of a loving family consisting of several geese, ducks, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas and a host of other critters.

More importantly, my wife is happy. She doesn’t have to worry anymore about Nanny Goose. And I don’t have to wake up at 4 a.m. anymore to my wife asking me if I think Nanny Goose is okay.

So, guys, when your wife ever confronts you with an “it” project, just bite the bullet and do it. It’ll save you a lot of time and worry. And you’ll get the bonus of being a hero until the next project comes down the pike.

Lastly, keep a lot of cast bullets on hand. You’ll never know when they’ll come in handy.

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