Call it a case of one mother looking out for another.
As Caitlin Oakley was breastfeeding her four-month-old daughter Willow Monday evening, as part of her bedtime routine, she heard the family’s pet goose Frankie outside. Frankie has been living for a year at the North Saanich home, alongside her goose partner Gerald, with whom she has recently adopted some baby running ducks.
But while Gerald was looking after the chicks, Frankie had wandered off. Sensing danger, Frankie did what she has always done in these situations.
“She always comes to the door when she feels threatened, or when there is something in the yard that shouldn’t be in the yard,” said Oakley.
That something was a bald eagle, which had swooped down just as Oakley was coming to the door to see what was going on — with Willow in her arms, mind you.
“So I flung the door open,” said Oakley. The move startled the eagle, which then grabbed its would-be dinner by the neck, dragging Frankie up the driveway. “I just ran (after it) and it let go.”
Oakley said the fact that she was breastfeeding the youngest of her three children — she has also two sons – did not register at all. “There was no awareness,” she said of the occasion. “It was just go — fight or flight mode for sure.”
This quick reaction, coupled with repeated verbal warnings aimed at the eagle, has elicited a wide range of congratulatory responses with the clip of Oakley’s rescue going viral.
When asked how she has reacted to the reactions her heroics have generated, Oakley takes it with humour. “We just think it’s so fun (and) hilarious. It’s light-hearted, it’s a good ending. It brought a little light to people.”
But it has also confirmed what many already know but does not necessarily get the attention it deserves.
“As moms, we are constantly on the go, we are constantly aware, especially if you are a mom with multiple kids, you always have an ear going. Yeah, it’s proof that we are always multitasking,” said Oakley.
As for Frankie, she appears no worse off for the experience.
“(There’s) not a scratch on her,” said Oakley. “She is herself. She is friendly, wandering down the yard with us. She was with us all day yesterday. “
Oakley said the family got Frankie because of her ability to act as a natural warning system to help protect the family’s chickens. “But she just has such a personality and such a presence. She is her own little individual animal. She follows us around and the kids feed her.”
Thanks to Oakley, Frankie did not become dinner and now finds herself as the unlikely co-star of a mommy-slash-action flick.
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