1914 – The Tough Old Birds Of Lafayette Park – Seasons Greetings!


1914 was wartime and finances were tight around Lafayette Square. For the winter holiday season, someone decided to procure their Christmas goose from the bounty of Lafayette Park. 

The Lafayette Park Police Substation was abuzz with speculation as to the identity of the culprit, but also amused about what awaited that person and guests when their supper was served. 

Three white geese and seven ducks (“two of which were mallards”, a distinction that eludes me) were taken by breaking the lock on the park lake penhouse. What the police knew and reported to the St Louis Globe Democrat of December 25, 1914, was that the geese and ducks were between 15 and 20 years of age.

“There is no way to tell a goose’s age, until you take your first helping at the table, and so it will be with the park geese.” The police desk officer said he had been acquainted with the birds for twenty years, and “those that feed on the purloined fowl will shortly discover that the geese are, by no means, spring chickens.”

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