The Tragic Tale of Gertrude, Olouse, and the Kids: Animal True Tales Article Series
By Dr. Joyce at The Caring Heart from Spokane Washington

“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”  (Romans 8:19)

To me, the above Bible verse is saying that the hope of the creatures is waiting for the true sons of God to become manifest over this earth and life.  The hope of the creatures is for the ending of harmfulness from human beings, and for decent, helpful care from those who have compassionate hearts like Jesus.  Oh, how I wanted Gertrude, Olouse, and the kids to have that decent, helpful care!


An old friend had bought two geese for her daughter.  One had died, and she wanted to know if I would take the other goose.  Well, I have a small chicken coop area but no good place for a goose.  My church music director said he would like to have the goose for his prayer garden, so I told the friend to bring the goose over, and he would pick her up.  Well, he never did pick her up.  So, what to do then?  I decided the female goose needed a companion, so I drove out of town and brought her home a nice male goose.  They lived outside in the outdoor chicken coop, which had wire mesh above as well as on all sides, and was pretty secure for them.  We built them a shelter from the elements, too.  I named the female “Gertrude,’ and the male “Olouse,” which I believe was my grandfather’s name (correct spelling questionable!).  One day I decided to take Gertrude for a ride in my truck.  She sat on my lap very nicely, and seemed to really like looking around as we drove around for a little bit. 

Gertrude and Olouse

Well, Gertrude sure laid a lot of goose eggs!  She sat on some, and I let her.  They hatched, and that’s where we got “the kids.”  They did fine, and seemed a happy goose family.  But, every time we would walk any where near their pen, they would honk and honk, which really irritated my son. 

Gertrude, Olouse, and the Kids

A friend of my brother’s was here doing some carpentry work, and said he wanted the geese for his place, and would work to pay for them.  Well, we just didn’t have the best living “set-up” for them, and they so irritated my son, that I said “all right.” 

BIG, BIG MISTAKE!  My brother’s friend had a good, rural environment for the geese, if he would have provided them with a safe, secure, sheltered pen, but he did not.  From time to time I would ask my brother how the geese were doing.  His friend had moved into town but kept his rural place, and had neighbors feeding them.  Finally, my brother said predators had gotten them.  HOW DEVASTATING!  I knew my brother’s friend, too, and believed him to be a kind, caring, conscientious person.  He did not provide them with shelter from the elements or the predators.  He did not complete the work to pay me for them, either. 

When I think about them, I grieve about them all over again.  I loved them so much.  I was still “new” to animals, at that time.  Now, I’ve changed a great deal, and I will never give or loan any animal who lives here to anyone, as long as I am able to care for them.  Yes, there are scores of people who take wonderful care of animals, I know, but it is hard to find the “good ones,” and to be sure they are “for real.”  If only I could have another chance and have them back again, we would build them the most deluxe pen in the world, no matter how much they would honk and honk!! 

Can’t you just feel creation “groaning” for the manifestation of the sons of God? Jesus is the son of God, and those who are truly like Jesus are the sons of God.  True sons of God (and daughters, too of course) are not indifferent and do not just carelessly or unthinkingly turn away from the pain of others, including their animal brothers and sisters.  They are not too wrapped up in how they look to make a good impression on others, or having all the “trappings” of the successful middle-class or upper-class American life, or being “in” on the latest fads, etc.  They automatically gravitate to what they consider to be most important, and that is serving God and tending to the love and other creature needs of the vulnerable, be they humans, four-footed animals, birds, fish, or whoever.  They realize that all creatures have the urge, and right, to have a comfortable life, and to live without pain or deprivation.  They realize all have their intelligence, their feelings, and other outstanding abilities.  They realize the reality that they are NOT merely objects to kick around, get rid of, ignore, or otherwise harm.  In face, everyone alive on this planet is vulnerable!    

So let our prayers be for the manifestation of the sons of God!!

And let my personal prayer be that I will be with Gertrude, Olouse, and the kids in heaven some day, and be able to convey to them how sorry I am that I gave them up to an awful situation.  I will always love them and remember them and look forward to when we will be together again. 

Dr. Joyce The Caring Heart Copyright 2012

P.S.  People should not buy animals, birds, or fish for their kids “for the fun of it.”  They are not toys!!

Go on to: Ode To Mr. Smokey Sweet
Return to: Animal True Tales Article Series