• The Goose Story

    Next
    fall, when
    you see Geese
    heading South for
    the Winter, flying along
    in V formation, you might
    consider what science has dis-
    covered as to why they fly that way:
    as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an
    uplift for the bird immediately following. By
    flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least
    71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

    People who share a common direction and sense of community
    can get where they are going more quickly and easily
    because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

    When
    a goose falls
    out of formation,
    it suddenly feels the drag
    and resistance of trying to go it alone
    and quickly gets back into formation to take
    advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

    If we have as much sense as a goose,
    we will stay in formation
    with those who are headed the same way we are.

    When
    the Head Goose
    gets tired, it rotates back
    in the wing and another goose flies point.

    It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs
    with people or with geese flying South.

    Geese
    honk from behind to
    encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

    What do we say when we honk from behind?

    Finally,
    and this is important,
    when a goose gets sick, or is
    wounded by gunshots and falls out
    of formation, two other geese fall out with that
    goose and follow it down to lend help and protection.
    They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until
    it dies. Only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation
    to catch up with their group.

    IF WE HAVE THE SENSE OF A GOOSE,
    WE WILL STAND BY EACH OTHER
    LIKE THAT.

    by Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes
    ARCS NEWS, Vol. 7, No. 1, January 1992