The time was during the early 1950's and my mother, brother and I were at our home in Connecticut waiting for my dad to return from Korea. It was a beautiful summer and like children all over, my brother and I were enjoying the pleasures that all country children enjoy. Among those pleasures was collecting animals and we were very good at it. Thanks to my mother's indulgence, we had a dog, a half dozen cats, 10 little black snakes we had raised from hatchlings, a bullfrog, a box turtle, a couple chickens and a giant black rooster, Lassie and Laddie the goats, and Eisenhower our much loved white goose. Eisenhower was a particularly fun playmate and smart - well, as smart as geese get. He would chase me around and then I'd quickly turn and chase him as he ran, wings flapping and quacking loudly. He's run to my brother and jump onto his lap. My brother was in a wheelchair most of the time so all he could do was watch the chase but when Eisenhower found safety in his lap, we both laughed as if we had discovered gold. It was during that summer that we had a giant king snake throwing itself through the branches of our hemlock trees searching for eggs. He was so big, the branches of the trees would swing and sway under his weight. My mother was afraid the snake would fall and land on my brother so being the ace shot she was, she stood on the stone wall, sighted in her .22 and shot the snake through the head. It fell with a thud to the ground where my brother and I retreived it. We spent the next week with this giant black dead snake wrapped around our necks as we played Frank Buck in Bring em Back Alive. It was a wonderful summer. With great joy, we welcomed my dad home as August was coming to an end. The days of our little menagerie were also numbered. My dad wasn't to much of an animal person. The snakes were the first to go as my dad abruptly removed their box home from our bathtub within 24 hours of his return. We were pretty upset but, it could have been worse .....and it got worse. The cats were banished to the outdoors and the goats were no longer allowed into the house. Eisenhower contined to squak his way around the yard but didn't seem to take to Dad very much so it became very adversarial between the two. August passed and Dad had his orders to Fort Monroe, VA. We were leaving in September and would be living on post so, only the dog would be coming with us. The chickens and the goats went to my grandparents, while the turtle, bullfrog and snakes were released in the woods. That left Eisenhower. My dad decided he would make a lovely Sunday dinner. He was deaf to our sobbing plea to spare his life. Soon after the decision had been made, dad grabbed a hatchet in one hand and his nemesis in the other and carried him to the lower yard where we had an old model A with a planked flatbed build onto it. I couldn't watch, but I'll never forget those last few quacks coming from Eisenhower, My mother dutifully cleaned the goose and cooked him. I'm sure she did a good job because she was a great cook but as we sat around the dinner table on Sunday afternoon, our guest of honor on the platter the center of attention, my mother, brother and I lost our appetites. There was no way we could eat Eisenhower. Dad said we didn't know what we were missing. In much the same way as most of you, I have been known to use the words "I'm starving." We all know that we're not really starving, merely deprived of food for a few hours and feeling those first twinges of hunger. That leads me to wonder, how hungry would I have to get before I would eat the family pet. I'm sure, at some point, my instinct for survival would kick in and I would cannibalize my dearest friend if it meant life over death but, short of starvation, I really don't want to dine on the family pet.