So I’m driving down Farmington Avenue in Berlin, toward the light where you turn into what I think of as the driveway to Stop & Shop, except that it actually seems to be a public road, so, as far as I know, the “driveway” is actually Veteran’s Way.
And I’m driving along at my usual serene, prudent and lawful pace, because I’m the sort of solid citizen who never tears the tags off pillows or mattresses and always (OK, make that usually) returns his grocery cart to the cart corral.
Anyway, there’s not much traffic this time, which is unusual because this is the main commercial drag in town, stretching from the Dairy Queen in the Kensington section, past the train station and the fire house and the former A&P and the Walgreens and the CVS and a Chinese restaurant and a Dunkin’ Donuts and a bank or two and at least one pizza house and at least one saloon and whole bunch of other businesses, eventually turning into Mill Street and taking you past a vacuum cleaner shop before you bump into the Berlin Turnpike.
But then I have to hit the brakes because a small gaggle of geese is honking its way across the street: a couple of adults and a bunch of goslings. This is commonplace, because the Stop & Shop driveway (oops, I mean Veteran’s Way) passes between two ponds that have been there forever, probably long before the Deephouse Equipment Co. went into business where the Stop & Shop now is, then went into bankruptcy in 1984.
So I stop and put on my emergency flashers and take a gander at the goose family as they waddle and toddle their way across the perilous pavement, showing not a sign that they understand the danger they’re in. And, of course, sometimes they don’t make it; all they have to do is misjudge the chassis language of one car and they’re dead ducks, so to speak.
So then I think, why aren’t there signs, or something? They put up those yellow signs where deer cross, they put up signs where horseback riders roam, they even put up signs where people in golf carts are likely to cross a street to get from the 18th green to the 19th Hole. Why not some signs for the little goosies? This would probably keep a few more of them alive as they make their rounds from the two ponds to Veterans Memorial Park to the open field between the park and the American Legion hall, or in the other direction to the hazardous Farmington Avenue crossing.
This would not only protect our fowl friends; it would also protect us local motorists from accidentally bumping off one or more of the little critters while we’re innocently bringing home the bacon.
Really it’s up to the town (and the state, I guess, because Farmington Avenue is part of Route 372) to do something about this. It’s not Stop & Shop’s problem, that is, but it would be a nice gesture of community support if the local outlet of Ahold Delhaize — a multinational company that operates thousands of stores in 11 countries and made $794 million last year — would put in a word for our feathered friends.
Reach Glenn Richter at email@example.com.
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