just then, we saw jim and his wife crossing the bridge. they were dropping pieces of bread down into the water for the geese, a daily ritual. the two large geese clamored to get to the bread. at very the same moment, a group of seven kayakers came out from under the bridge,surprising us all from out of nowhere, all geared up in fancy bright brand new kayaks, laughing and chattering loudly. in a frenzy to get the bread, the large geese pecked fiercely at the smaller geese. the three small geese, spooked by the cacophany, took flight. as you know, these geese aren't the most graceful fliers. barely two feet off of the surface of the water, they flew over the kayakers riding the incoming tide. the birds, circling, accidentally brushed them with their feet and wings. the kayakers, afraid, yelled loudly, spooking the geese further. one put up a paddle in "self-defense" and knocked a goose into the water. that goose attacked me! he screamed once and then twice, frantically splashing with his paddle at the helpless floating goose swimming towards him in the water, surrounded by kayakers with nowhere to go. knock it off! leave the goose alone! get the hell out of here and go back to where you came from! jim yelled at the kayakers from the bridge. the goose flew again, narrowly missing a swing from the paddle, back to the muddy banks, to land invisible somewhere in the tall grass. my heart was in my throat, beating hard, and i had been holding my breath for who knows how long. are they okay? i asked james. i think so he said, as the third goose struggled to find its way through the tall grass to meet the others on the bank.