The following hilarious account of the wild goose chase was written by Natasha to Dieter.
I am sure you will enjoy it as much as we did.


by Natasha Oehme

Here follows a full account of the Wild Goose Chase and the repercussions thereof:


Present at the commission was, of course, the Commissioner of Inquiries, with his assistant;

K9 Captain Purdey of the Iswepe-Oehme District Control, codename FLIPPIN’ STUPID ‘HOND’;

Colonel Natasha Oehme, the supervisor of Captain Purdey’s patrol;

K9 Sergeant Wolfie of the same patrol, codename MONKEY SHADOWCHASER;

an amused eyewitness in the shape of an Iswepe security guard, who had been on duty at the time and who could be recognised by the pronounced smirk on his face throughout the proceedings;

and, lastly, a family of Egyptian geese.


The first witness called by the Commissioner of Inquiry was K9 Purdey who, though eager to give her testimony, was noticeably tired and battling to catch her breath. She was also visibly damp. She gave her evidence with characteristic excitement and enthusiasm.

It appears that she, the sergeant and her supervisor were on their daily morning patrol, taken a little later than usual – 9.30 ZULU – due to overcast conditions and a chilly breeze. This is a daily undercover operation, deliberately made to look like an ordinary person taking her dogs for a walk, but which is in fact a highly trained patrol unit, whose mission is the surveillance of the area and the rooting out of crime and all suspicious activities.

Nothing was out of the ordinary on the first round of the perimeter of the dam. However, once the track leading to the Oehme domicile was reached, the captain sniffed “something in the air” as she put it. She was immediately on the alert, and advanced with due non-caution.

When she reached the bank, at a spot situated approximately halfway between the forestry road from Iswepe, and the (currently submerged) broken-down original dam wall, she came upon a family of Egyptian geese engaged in suspicious activities.


A family of Egyptian Geese on the banks of the Letaba in the Kruger National Park

Upon inquiry from the commissioner as to what sort of suspicious activities a mommy-goose, daddy-goose and six little goslings could be engaged in at 10.00 ZULU, K9 Captain Purdey’s answer was voluble and excited, if a trifle confused. In a long speech in which narcotic abuse, possession of illegal feathers, conspiracy theories and communist plots jumbled into one another (without pause), she concluded with the allegation that the geese were, in fact, illegal aliens who were spies in the worldwide operation QUACK, in which geese from all countries were plotting the domination of earth and DSTV.

The commissioner, a trifle startled, cast a wild look of inquiry towards his trusty assistant, who whispered in his ear that the captain was suspected of hitting the cat poo quite heavily lately. The commissioner nodded sagely and duly noted “Substance Abuser” in his report.

K9 Captain Purdey then accused the geese of resisting arrest, at which point, she stated, she called for backup. Sergeant Wolfie immediately entered the fray, and being somewhat larger and more impressive than his immediate superior, it appears that the geese promptly stopped resisting arrest, and began to flee it instead. K9 Captain Purdey unhesitatingly began a high speed chase after them (swimming in the dam, you must understand).

A slight disturbance at this point emanated from the patriarch of the goose family who leaned over to his wife, saying, “More like a medium to low-speed pursuit, if you ask me,” but he was severely reprimanded by the commissioner.

The captain was then asked to step down, which she did very reluctantly, needing to be called twice to order as she insisted on pontificating earnestly about the iniquitous habits and vicious nature of geese, and, in fact, most large birds, particularly hadedas. She was only silenced when the colonel, (with great presence of mind) shoved a Beeno into her mouth.

The next witness called was the alleged conspiring Egyptian Goose, who took the stand with great dignity and a fair amount of smugness.


One of the many Egyptian geese we encountered in Iswepe and Hermannsburg.

Upon inquiry into the alleged suspicious activities he was engaged in (aided and abetted by his wife and progeny) he replied with great sarcasm that they were getting high on their breakfast of leaves, plant stems and the odd grasshopper, and were conspiring in the world-wide plot of teaching their children to swim.

When asked why he resisted arrest, he replied that in the Goose Secret Service training, you were taught that when confronted with doddering senile old canines with foul breath, it was customary to try to protect your offspring from their large teeth, if, he added with awful irony, they had any left.

K9 Captain Purdey at this point started up, spluttering in indignation, only to have another Beeno shoved down her throat by the ever-resourceful colonel. Although temporarily distracted by crunching up this tasty morsel, her subdued mutterings were long and awful.

The commissioner begged the goose to continue and he stated that upon the arrival of another dog, which he described as “a big brute of a fellow”, he realised that he would have to take evasive action to protect his family. Urging his wife to swim to one side with his children, he took it upon himself to draw away the attack of the dog.

“So you deliberately lured K9 Captain Purdey across almost the entire length of the dam?”


“Considering you’re a goose and she’s a dog, surely you could have completely outswum her and she would have given up the chase?”

The assistant quietly informed the commissioner that the goose had purposely swum slowly, flying ahead just a few paces each time the captain came too close. Beyond a slight twitch of his lips the commissioner kept his stern expression and continued the line of questioning.

“Why did you not obey the captain’s orders to stop?” The goose looked blank. “I was told that she did not stop barking at you for the entire duration of the chase,” the commissioner clarified.

“I presumed she was using foul language. It certainly sounded very abusive,” was the goose’s response.

“I understand that all she kept saying was ‘Stop, in the name of the law!’” stated the commissioner, his stern expression deepening.

The goose remained cool as a feathered cucumber. “I do not understand Poodle-speak”, was his lofty reply.

The next witness was K9 Sergeant Wolfie. There was a little commotion before getting him into the stand, as he had just spotted a shadow under the commissioner’s bench. After a little bustling about and a stern reminder from the commissioner to those present not to make any sudden movements that could cause shadows, as well as an even sterner reminder to the sergeant that these were SERIOUS proceedings, the commission of inquiry continued.

Upon being asked why he didn’t join in the high speed pursuit the sergeant looked a little guilty and mumbled something about “they didn’t look that dangerous to me,” and “I didn’t think the colonel would like it.”

Captain Purdey jumped up and barked that that was a lie, it was just that Sergeant Wolfie was a chicken-hearted useless swimmer. The sergeant looked hurt. The commissioner banged the table with his hammer.

Captain Purdey looked up hopefully towards the colonel for a Beeno, but got a severe smack on the head instead. “One more outburst and I’ll have you in contempt,” shouted the commissioner. Captain Purdey, still reeling from the thwack on her head, nodded dizzily, and fell down so as to count stars in better comfort.

Sergeant Wolfie, asked to continue, explained that he followed Captain Purdey along the bank, waiting to be of assistance. He jumped in below the yard of the Oehmes, and began following in earnest, but came back on being severely called to task by the colonel.

“So you obeyed your superior?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well done, Sergeant. You may step down.” Sergeant Wolfie returned to his seat, eyes still peeled hopefully for the elusive shadows.

Next up was Colonel Natasha herself. She was looking extremely irate, and, though clean and neat, as if she had just stepped out of the shower. She corroborated the K9’s statements wearily, but became much more vehement when asked if she did not give the captain orders to desist. She insisted that she yelled and yelled and screamed and screamed and the captain did not blink an eye or turn a whisker; she just kept swimming after “that blasted goose”.

“Now, Captain Purdey has intimated that she saw it as a matter of duty. Her honour was at stake. During her swim she says she had one thing on her mind and that was to apprehend the suspect, and turn him in, thus proving herself the saviour of Iswepe, and hero of all four-footed creatures in the area. What do you think was going through her mind at the time?” asked the Commissioner.

The colonel replied unsympathetically that all she thought was going through K9 Captain Purdey’s mind was, “GOOSE. SWIM. GOOSE. KEEP HEAD ABOVE WATER. GOOSE. BREATHE. GOOSE. BARK. GOOSE.” Captain Purdey looked upset, but hung her head in shame when encountering the hard angry glance of her superior.

Asked to continue, the colonel told about how she had had to sprint around the property to the other side, down the road past the forest, to the pump house (where the security guard was standing, very amused), past the pump house until she was almost opposite the house on the other side of the dam. She insisted that the whole way she was yelling at “the dog” as she contemptuously referred to the captain, but was ignored. The captain, she said, was determined to get the goose and was still headed towards the dam wall, which was no longer much distance away.

“What happened next?”

“K9 Captain Purdey, being old, and not in the best of health, was noticeably tired and battling to breathe. She was far from the shore, she wasn’t listening to me, and was swimming more and more weakly. Opposite the house her head dipped under water once or twice.”

“So you jumped in after her?”

“I removed my sunglasses, my shoes and socks, and my tracksuit top. Then I entered the dam and swam to the dog, who was approximately 40 metres from me.”

“Did you have to use a life-saving technique?” The commissioner was having difficulty in keeping his face straight.

“No.” The colonel, in her turn, was having difficulty keeping her voice calm as she was feeling all the annoyance natural to someone who has swum in a cold and dirty dam in her clothes, scratched her legs to pieces on reeds, and walked home barefoot and sopping, while a highly entertained security guard looked on, all because of a stupid disobedient dog who deserved to drown in any case. “By the grace of God she abandoned her pursuit when I reached her and followed me to shore.”

“Was she ashamed and sorry for deliberately disobeying an order?”

“She was most unrepentant, and to be truthful, very proud of herself indeed.”

The last witness was the security guard, who beyond affirming everyone’s testimonies and saying it was the funniest thing he’d ever seen, had nothing further to offer.

The commissioner then wrapped it up, giving his decision.

On the charges of disobeying the orders of a superior, K9 Captain Purdey was found guilty. Because of her extreme loyalty and many years of service (most of those years in tandem with the late Captain K9 Gambit, who, though never the sharpest officer of the law, mentally speaking, will forever be remembered for his uncanny ability to poop up a tree) and because of her extreme age, partial loss of hearing and suspected senility, would only be sentenced to a week of suspension from the patrol.

The geese were free to go, K9 Sergeant Wolfie was exonerated of cowardice, and the Colonel was given the Baywatch “Courage under Water” Award.

As it turns out, Captain Purdey got so sick she had to be rushed to the vet, was diagnosed with severe pneumonia, and so her suspension has become unofficial sick leave. The Colonel remains in good health, in spite of the long walk home in wet clothes in a chilly breeze.

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