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by Katherine Ashe
In ancient Egypt, the god Amun was believed to have been hatched from a goose egg. And Ptah was sometimes portrayed as a goose. On the other hand, Egyptians were keen observers of goose behavior in its actual manifestations:
“You are worse than the goose of the shore that is busy with mischief. It spends the summer destroying the dates, the winter destroying the seed-grain. It spends the balance of the year in pursuit of the cultivators.” Papyrus Lansing; M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.2 p.169, with thanks to Andre Dollinger)
“In pursuit of the cultivators…” Flapping their wings as they go, geese can outrun almost anyone and, given their long necks, the fleeing human’s bottom is just the right height for the goose to pinch. Geese as guard animals are quite effective, but they may also chase people just for the fun of it.