THERE is another household duty which frets me much,
and yet it mast be performed, else would we be put to
it for quills with which to write, and for soft beds,
pillows, and quilts. It is goose-picking that I abhor,
not only because of its seeming extremely cruel, but on
account of its being like the soap-making, dirty work.
I question if there be a family in Boston who does not
own a flock of geese, and among; them many who were
once wild. They wander around the streets all sum
mer, paddling in the pools of water, chasing insects,
and devouring whatsoever may have been thrown out of
the houses that is eatable.
I doubt whether, if it were within the power of
our preachers so to do, they would not kill all the
geese in the town, for more than once on a Sabbath
day have these noisy creatures made such a tumult
outside the church that the sermon was actually interrupted.
Besides that, you cannot go anywhere: without a
 lot of foolish geese running at your heels, hissing as if
you had done something for which you should be
ashamed, and they were calling attention to it.
Twice each season, in the planting and the
harvesting time, must the small feathers be stripped from the
live birds, and while this is being done, the goose,
which has a strong neck and beak, would inflict many
a grievous wound if one did not pull an old stocking
over its head.
Some people are so particular as to have made goose
baskets, which in shape are not unlike small gourds, and
through the narrow neck of these the head of the goose
is thrust, while the body can be held firmly between the
knees of whosoever is
doing the plucking.
Of course, when one
is pulling feathers from
the bird, the fine fluff,
or down, files everywhere about like snow,
and the result is, that
unless you take the
precaution of tying
your hair up in cloths,
and putting on an old
linen dress from which
dirt can readily be
 shaken, you will be covered from head to foot with
these fluffy particles, which are not much larger than
snow-flakes, and extremely difficult to remove.
I have been so busy setting down matters
concerning the household, as to forget that I should tell you
how our town of Boston has grown, and who of the
great men of England have come into it.
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