Special Sub-Topic: My True Love Guild to Me - 6th Day
|One Christmas, my true love gave to me six geese a-laying. I made a study of these birds and it was interesting to see to which biological family they belonged. Which was it?|
Anatidae. Geese are strongly migratory birds and are members of the Anatidae family. They tend to breed in northern parts and fly south to winter in warmer climes. Geese have been domesticated for thousands of years and were known to both the ancient Chinese and the ancient Egyptians. Examples of the Hirundinidae family include the swallow; the Corvidae family, the magpie and the Serinus family, the canary.
|I was very pleased to receive six geese from my true love at Christmas, since six was always my favourite number. It was also the number that my favourite footballer wore when England won the football (soccer) World Cup in 1966. Who was he?|
Bobby Moore. Moore, Hurst and Peters, of course, all played their club football with West Ham United. Moore was regarded as one of the best defenders and finest 'readers' of the game of his generation. He was 'capped' 108 times for England. After Moore died of colon cancer in 1993, West Ham 'retired' the number 6 shirt from its squad numbers.
|Ever since I became a keeper of geese after my true love gave me six for Christmas, my friends have known my interest in these fascinating fowl. One of them spent a summer holiday backpacking around North America and sent me many postcards. One postcard came from the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and bore the postmark of a Canadian Province. Which one?|
Newfoundland and Labrador. Happy Valley-Goose Bay sprang up around an air base that was built in 1941 for aircraft escorting ships on the first part of their perilous voyages across the U Boat-infested waters of the Atlantic. The town was incorporated in 1973 and in 2006 its population was given as about 7,500. It is located at the mouth of the Goose River, and, of course, it has a goose on its town seal.
|After we exchanged presents at Christmas, my true love and I left the six geese she gave me scratching for food in the yard, while we settled down to watch 'Third Rock From The Sun' on TV. If Earth is the 'third rock', which is the sixth "rock from the sun"?|
Saturn. The reminder that many people used to name the planets was "Man Very Early Made Jugs Stand Up Nearly Perpendicular" (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto). After Pluto was, seemingly, downgraded from planet status, perhaps that mnemonic needed a change: "Man Very Early Made Jugs Stand Up Neatly?"
|My goodness, the geese my true love gave to me for Christmas were huge. But they were not as big as the 'Spruce Goose', that flying machine built by Howard Hughes. What was its official name?|
Hughes H-4 Hercules. The Hughes H-4 Hercules was constructed out of aluminum and wood (birch, rather than spruce) and flew for the first, and only, time on November 2 1947. It was the largest flying boat ever built and had eight engines. Its maiden flight was only about a mile long, and the plane only reached an altitude of about 70 feet. In more recent years it was put on display at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, USA.
|In addition to six geese, at Christmas my true love gave me a Ralph McTell LP. I always identified with McTell when he sang "Sundays as a rule, us kids went to Sunday School." I too attended Sunday School each week, and that was where I learnt the 10 Commandments. According to the King James Bible, which of these commandments was the sixth given by God to Moses?|
Thou shalt not kill. The 10 Commandments can be found in the Old Testament Book of Exodus, chapter 20.
|One Christmas, my true love gave to me six geese a-laying. I gave five away to my favourite funtrivia editors. I believe they ate theirs. I kept mine. To at least what age can I expect her to live?|
20 to 22 years. Sources vary on this question, but domestic geese will live longer than their wild 'cousins'. This is mainly due to better care, availability of food and protection from predators. There have, though, been reports of geese living much longer. [Source: www.ashtonwaterfowl.net]
|Last year, Christmas could not have been better for me. Not only did my true love give me six geese a-laying, and a Ralph McTell LP, but she took me to the pantomime to see 'Mother Goose'. The origins of this popular "panto" remain obscure, with many experts stating it was not based on any real person. The people of one US town believed differently, though. Which town claimed that the legend of Mother Goose was based on a woman who lived there in the 17th century?|
Boston, Massachusetts. Boston was first settled in 1630. The others towns mentioned are St. Augustine, Florida (1565), Santa Fe, New Mexico (1609) and Hampton, Virginia (1610). The Bostonian legend is that Mother Goose was a widow and mother of six children who married a man called Isaac Goose, a widower with 10 children of his own in the 1660s. Tourists like to visit her gravestone in Granary Burial Ground.
|Joy to the world! My true love gave me six geese a-laying for Christmas. I spotted the first eggs this morning. About how long will it take for them to hatch?|
28 to 35 days. Each goose hen can produce four or five eggs. In captivity, help is needed from human hands since the eggs are too big for the hen to turn by herself. (Sorry, my source does not tell me what they do in the wild). Source: www.ehow.com/how_2054910_hatch-geese-eggs.html]
|My love was truly generous to me at Christmas. As well as six geese a-laying and a Ralph McTell LP, she gave me a boxed DVD set of the 1960s cult TV show 'The Prisoner'. Which actor played the part of 'Number Six'?|
Patrick McGoohan. 'The Prisoner' was a 1960s science fiction show that was made for British TV but quickly earned cult status in both the UK and the USA. McGoohan played a secret agent imprisoned in a seaside town where the authorities tried to break his resistance. No one had names, just numbers, and McGoohan was 'number six'.
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