Monday, May 17, 2010


At one of my first teaching jobs, I was privileged to work with a facility manager named Mel, a sweet, sweet, sweet, retired army veteran with a heart of gold. Mel loved his building, loved his teachers, and loved the kids. The second or third year we worked together, our class hatched turkey eggs. Mel and the babies took a liking to each other. Every morning when he arrived at work, he would take the turkeys out of their pen and they would follow him up and down the halls. When Mel started the vacuum, the baby turkeys would scurry back out into the hall and peep worriedly until Mel emerged.

I couldn't help but think of Mel as I read THE GOOSEMAN: THE STORY OF KONRAD LORENZ. Lorenz is the scientist best known for the development of a ethology, the study of animal's instinctive behaviors. Us common folk probably know him better as the person who studied the imprinting behaviors of ducks and geese. From a very young age, Konrad loved, loved, loved animals. His parents encouraged his passion, even allowing him to have a monkey that snatched shiny things away from anyone who came to visit. As an adult, Lorenz studied medicine, but soon left the field to pursue his interest in animals. He spent his entire life studying the behaviors of ducks, geese, and other wild animals. Early in his career, he had a goose named Martina who actually slept with him, and brought her "boyfriend" home to meet him.

This will be a fun book to share with our first graders, who are eagerly watching an incubator full of duck eggs…

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