Jacob the Goose
Noted Canadian military historian Rene Chartrand had his submission on Jacob the Goose published in The Fall 2010 issue of The Company of Military Historians. Page 231 has the story of Jacob the Goose. I'll summarize it here.
During the Canadian Rebellion (1837-38), the 2nd Coldstream Guards was sent to Quebec where it became part of the city's garrison. Sentries were posted around the city and Guardsman and ex-farmboy John Kemp stood his post on what would otherwise seem a typical boring day. As he paced, he noticed a fine white goose wandering about his post. Pacing back and forth as sentries do, Kemp kept an eye on the goose when he spied that a large, brown fox had stalked up close to the unwary goose. Kemp could not shoot (the fox, not the goose) as it would sound the alarm. Suddenly the goose noticed the fox and making panicked sounds, flapped its wings. It fled between Kemp's boots with the fox in hot pursuit. A quick thrust of Kemp's bayonet put an end to the fox. With that, the goose bonded with the guardsmen and always accompanied them on post. They, in turn, named it Jacob.
One day Kemp was on sentry duty again walking his post. Two knife armed would be assassins were sneaking on Kemp. Jacob spotted them when they rushed towards Kemp. Flapping his wings and squawking out an alarm, Jacob counter charged. Kemp spun on his heels, saw the assassins, raised his muskets and fired. His fellow sentries responded to his assistance and the assassins fled. Jacob was heralded as a hero by the regiment and the officers had a golden collar fitted around his neck. When the guards returned to London in 1842, Jacob accompanied them. He became a favorite of children and was said to be approached (not poached) even by the Duke of Wellington.
For anyone who is a member of The Company, my article on Pemberton's Sharpshooters begins on page 223.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!