When the pandemic upended her daily life, Deb Olin Unferth started walking, and one day met a goose. A measured, tender tale of loss and love and difficult friendship — one that warns you throughout that a sting is coming, but manages to sneak up and wallop you anyway.

He was feisty, the town bully, and I was his sidekick. He’d pick targets, as if to say, See, me and my friend here, we play by the bench on Tuesdays. And seeing as how this is Tuesday … People got very upset. I’d say, “He’s harmless.” I do think he just wanted to make more friends, grow our gang, but they scurried away.