After I have visited Monte Urpinu summit, I descend the steep path into Monte Urpinu Park. This is a pine forest against the north-western face of Monte Urpinu hill with three lakes that are connected by waterfalls and with a playground for children and their parents where a little kiosk provides sweets, snacks and drinks. In the very early morning when hardly anybody else is in the park, I make my tour along the lakes to feed the left-over bread to the ducks and geese, while some dried insect and crustacean food from the pet shop goes to the carnivorous semi-aquatic turtles.
I like the ducks, they are little funny guys and I guess that is why they star in cartoons like Daffy who is my favourite. But the geese I even like more because they are bolder and dare to eat out of your hand or even try to search your pockets if you happen to turn around, a little like cats and poorly educated dogs. It is said that geese were indeed held like watch dogs in ancient Rome. According to Titus Livius Patavinus (59 BC – AD 17), the geese of the temple of Juno on the Capitoline Hill have even saved the entire city of Rome from the night attack of the Gauls around 390 BC, when they were disturbed and their loud honking woke up everybody. A gaggle of grey Anser and white Chen geese follows me through the park until they realize that their bread is gone when I start feeding the peafowl family of peacock, peahen, and the offspring peachicks with some parrot food from the pet shop. Then the first joggers arrive, soon the children and their parents follow, the kiosk opens and I take my coffee with pastry to sit on one of the benches, reading a book, enjoying the atmosphere and relaxing until a few hours later it is time to go home again.