On a bright spring afternoon, my husband and I are paddling our canoe through the winding wetlands of the Betsie River. Rounding a curve of cattails, we hear the familiar raucous honk of Canadian geese. A pair of them stand on the riverbank scolding us for coming too close to their nest although we can’t even see it back in the thick marsh. Still honking furiously, the birds take off into the air and protest until we’re out of sight.
Now, if they’d just stayed quiet and just stayed low, we never would have known they were there. And I decide it’s because this is an election year: They just can’t let go of any opportunity to list their grievances in front of an audience.
Meanwhile, a more confident candidate circles silently far overhead. The bald eagle stays above the fray and takes in the whole landscape before making his move. I consider giving him my vote until—on our way back—another nominee weighs in.
We hear the wild screech of a sand hill crane and although we peer into the tall reeds for several long minutes, we never see him. Ah, that’s the winning strategy: Always leave them wanting more.