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Monologue with Carol McManus

McManus, Carol
Weatherford, Arin
Date of Interview: 
stories and storytellers
Carol McManus tells a story about her daughter, Julia, observing geese.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Arin Weatherford interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
CM (Carol McManus): While traveling to her grandmother's home in Fayetteville, North Carolina for the Thanksgiving holiday, Julia my seven-year-old little girl saw a flock of geese flying south for the winter. Julia said to her mother, "Mommy look at the pretty birds!" Her mother replied, "Those are geese." Julia again observed that the geese were flying in a particular pattern. And she said to her mother again, "Mommy, why are they lined up that way?" Her mom replied, "That is what you call the V formation and the geese fly that way so that they can cut down on air draft." "Air draft? What is air draft?" Replied Julia. "Well air draft is the friction that you feel on the wings. Have you ever been out on your bicycle on a windy day and noticed how when you came off the hill by our house how much wind hit you on your, in your face and how you slowed down?" She said, "Oh, yeah. That keeps me from going from very fast and I have to pedal even harder." "Well," said her mother, "that's air draft. But if you and your friends all rode your bicycles down the hill in a V formation, you wouldn't feel that much of a draft." "Oh, well! Those are pretty smart birds aren't they Mommy?" " Yes, they're very smart birds. And they also fly that way because they want to be able to support each other while they're flying." "Support? What do you mean support? Like a crutch?" "Oh yes, exactly just like a crutch." "When one of the geese gets sick while they're flying to Florida, two or even three, will drop out of the line and fly down to earth with the goose that is sick and makes sure that he's OK, and they'll stay with him until he's better." "Well then they'll get left behind from all the other geese." said Julia. "No, they might but the fact that they are all together supporting each other and being a family makes it better." So as they traveled along Julia continued to observe the geese. And she heard a lot of noise coming from them and she asked her mom again, "Mommy why are the geese making so much noise?" She said, "Those are honks of encouragement. And the goose that is in the very back of the line honks and yells out to the goose in front encouraging them to continue to fly harder and fly higher and stay on that path so that they can get to their new home down South." Once Julia heard that conversation with her mom she said, "Well you know what Mommy? I guess everybody should honk for encouragement with all their friends so that we can get where we need to be faster, safer, and together." The end.