GODFREY, THE GOOSE WHO GOT GOOSE BUMPS
Godfrey was a friendly young gosling. Everyone loved him
He loved to play geese games with the other goslings. They would run and jump and flap their wings and honk with joy. Before long, they would be able to fly.
One day Godfrey’s friends asked him to go swimming with them.
“Oh, no,” Godfrey said. “I’m afraid of water. I’m afraid I might sink. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.”
“What are goose bumps,” one of his friends asked.
“They’re little bumps that appear on my skin when I get afraid,” Godfrey said.
“Well, I never heard of a gosling that was afraid of water,” another friend said.
Godfrey’s friends looked puzzled and went off to swim. Godfrey sat on the bank of the river and watched his friends swim.
“I wish I wasn’t afraid of the water,” Godfrey said. “It looks like so much fun.”
Summer arrived and one of Godfrey’s friends announced that his mother gave him permission to start flying.
“Watch me,” his friend said. He started running, flapped his wings, and launched into flight.
“Look at me, Godfrey,” he yelled. “I’m flying. I’m flying.”
Godfrey watched his friend fly. Then his other friends gave it a try and were soon flying as well. They circled around several times then came back and landed beside Godfrey.
“Come, fly with us,” one of Godfrey’s friends said. “It’s so much fun.”
“Oh, no, Godfrey said. “I’m afraid to fly. I’m afraid I might fall. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.”
So Godfrey’s friends flew away. Godfrey was sad. He felt all alone. He wished he wasn’t afraid to try things and he wished he didn’t get goose bumps just thinking about it.
An old gander was meandering by and saw Godfrey sitting and looking sad.
“Why so sad, Godfrey?” the gander asked.
“I’m sad because I’m afraid to try something new, like swimming or flying,” Godfrey said. “I get goose bumps just thinking about it.”
“Did you know that everyone has fears at one time or another?” the gander said.
“No, I didn’t,” Godfrey said.
“Many things never get accomplished because of fear,” the gander said. “And fear often keeps people from enjoying things they would like to do.”
“I wish I didn’t get afraid,” Godfrey said.
“Do something for me,” the gander said. “The next time you get afraid to try something, instead of saying, ‘I’m afraid,” say, ‘I can do it.'” With that the gander wandered off.
The next day Godfrey got up at sunrise. His mother and father and all the other geese had already flown across the lake and landed in a small marsh.
Godfrey noticed something unusual. He saw five men in camouflage clothes getting into a boat. They were carrying guns. They left the shore and headed across the lake toward the marsh.
It dawned on Godfrey that they were hunters and were going to hunt geese. He had to warn all his family and friends in the marsh. He would have to fly to get to the marsh before the hunters.
He felt goose bumps popping up all over his body. He started to say, “I’m afraid,” but remembered what the gander said. So he said, “I can do it. I have to do it.” He started running and flapping his wings. “I can do it, I can do it,” he kept saying. Much to his surprise, he launched into flight. Higher and higher he went.
Across the lake he flew. He saw the hunters below him. They were moving fast. He had to get there before they did.
Godfrey flapped his wings faster and faster. Soon he was at the marsh. He started to say, “I’m afraid to land in the water,” but stopped and said, “I can do it. I can land in the water. I can do it. I can do it.”
All the geese were surprised when they saw Godfrey flying above them and then landing in the marsh water.
“The hunters are coming,” Godfrey shouted. “The hunters are coming with guns. You have to move.”
Without hesitation, the geese took to the air and flew to another lake nearby where there were no hunters. Godfrey followed and landed with them.
All the geese gathered around Godfrey and thanked him for warning them. They were so happy and proud of Godfrey.
“Aw, shucks,” Godfrey said. “You have to stop all this excitement. You’re giving me goose bumps.”
by Charles Milton Lee