I used to live in Stratford, Ontario. Stratford is in something we Canadians call a "Snow Belt", meaning that it snows from basically November to May. A lot. I was thoroughly equipped with snow gear by my mom before moving to Stratford. Super warm boots and a very ugly puffy coat and about 40 scarves. But there are still limitations. Like... you can only see as far as you can see in a blizzard, and your legs are still only their normal length, and your feet are not snowshoes and never will be.
Stratford is a beautiful town with a river running through it and a huge collection of swans and geese and ducks to float in the river.
One day I was walking home alone when a freak snowstorm blew out of nowhere. I couldn't see a THING. I was so afraid that I would fall in the river that I slowed down and started staggering to and fro like a drunken sot. My glasses got caked with snow and so did my face. I stumbled along, trying to think good not-falling-in-the-river thoughts and promising myself rewards for continuing like hot chocolate and a bath. It was about this time when I stepped on the goose.
At first I wasn't sure what happened to me. I knew there was a loud noise and something hit me in the stomach and that I did not fall in the river. I wiped one lens of my glasses clean in time to recognize what had happened and that's when I realized the terrible truth.
I HAD STEPPED ON THE CHINESE FIGHTING GOOSE.
Okay, I know that there is no such thing as a Chinese Fighting Goose. It's just a Chinese Goose. But I had seen this goose in action and it was a fighting goose.
Our altercation was over after the attack on my stomach and it disappeared into the blowing snow. I was terrified and sobbing and I ran the rest of the way home, muttering to myself about geese being the same colour as snow and birds that act like velociraptors.
You would think the story is over but it actually continued for another year and a half. In my second year there I lived with Kim, and we walked to work along the river every day. She soon realized that I was completely terrified of white birds and that the Chinese Geese would watch me beadily as I walked by, sometimes taking threatening steps forwards that would make me shriek and run screaming. She thought this was hilarious and insisted on stopping every day to talk to the swans/geese and feed them until something happened that would send me fleeing for my life.
I am still really terrified of velociraptor birds that blend in the snow. Thankfully those are scarce on my morning commute now through downtown Toronto.