I spend my days mostly in silence, around the little oakwood or at the shoreline. It's been years since I smoked a cigarette, but I can still feel that intake of smoke past the lips and down. A dram would be good, though maybe at midday, whisky - even a good Islay - would prevent much fruitful thinking - since that's what I'm attempting. But looking out over the bay, these stimulants might just be a substitute for speech. Or thought.
The greylag geese resolutely refuse to answer me, so I simply listen to their conversations. I can't understand the fine points of their humour, though they do laugh a lot, but the gist of the grammar seems clear enough - it's based on volume. The louder the language (or maybe it's a dialect; is greylag a variation on beangoose or Canada goose?) the more they are likely to take flight. Softer whiffles and gurgles denote contentment. So much is universal. The orthography of their language is beyond me mostly though. There are vocables that have no exact equivalent in English. Finnish might come closer, with its vowel and consonant clusters. But the most tricky would be that click which humans can only make at the back of the throat - and then not all of us.
Individual greylags make words: eu ö; k'-eu k'o; and phrases: eu ö k'eu eu eu; wy,eu ö-ö-ö on a rising inflection. And then with that near back of throat click: wee - 'k' ö wa'k' yeu yeu yeu.
What I do understand is when they rise up in cackles and hoots and barks, wheeling higher and round again, their cries collectively mingle: they become one organism with one voice: a distant gale howling when the cabin door is shut and the fire's lit.