30 December 2009
Six Geese A Laying
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me .... you've got it: More danged birds with the
Six Geese a-laying. This is shaping up to be quite a flock: Partridge, Turtle Dove, French Hen, Blackbird, Pheasant, and now Goose.
Geese were among the first birds to be domesticated. Our Neolithic ancestors discovered that, rather than spending days searching for animals to kill or nests to rob, it was easier to capture them live and keep them penned by the cave. The heard or flock could be increased by having them mate. The food supply became more regular as one could just go outside and slaughter a bird or other animal in the pen for meat or collect eggs from the fowl nesting in the enclosure. Since geese were a common barnyard fowl in England it is natural that geese were included in the carol. Also, over time, goose became a traditional Christmas meal.
To this day, a roast goose is still a Christmas tradition in Britain.