Published: 10:20, 30 September 2020
| Updated: 11:04, 30 September 2020
A wild goose chase in Whitstable had a happy ending when the bedraggled bird finally waddled home.
Suspecting fowl play, distraught owner Maureen Grant feared four-year-old Freddie had been "taken and cooked" after he failed to return for days.
But after setting off a huge community response on social media, the plucky goose on the loose has at last returned looking "exhausted and filthy".
Ms Grant was in London on Friday when she got a call to say Freddie had disappeared - in an area which is full of foxes.
At first she was not concerned, as she believed he had gone to visit his "friends" - some other geese at a nearby farm.
The 61-year-old said: "On Saturday morning, I said to my husband I was going up to the field to check on Freddie and he said, ‘I wouldn’t bother, he’s not with them’.
"Of course it was panic stations and we were running all around the fields calling his name."
Fox's Cross Road, where Maureen lives, certainly lives up to its name as there are plenty of the bushy-tailed creatures around the area on the hunt for birds like Freddie.
Then when Maureen really started to get in a flap, she admitted: "I was convinced someone had taken him and cooked him."
On Sunday, she said to her husband that she had to accept he would not be coming back.
But after her daughter took to social media for help, dozens of people shared the appeal.
"I couldn’t believe it," she said. "People were so passionate about my goose."
On Monday morning, to her surprise she heard loud squawking and looked out of the window to see her beloved Freddie with the geese from the nearby farm.
She ran out to him in her pyjamas, screaming his name.
"He saw me and came towards me," she said. "But he was running so slowly so I knew he was just exhausted and he was filthy as well."
Freddie slept for about 24 hours when he got home and is now very happy to be back.
"I think what he did, it was very windy on Friday and the conditions were right," she said. "He tears across the sky sometimes and I think he took off with the wind behind him.
"God knows how he survived because this area is full of foxes.
"He is pure white so must stand out like a sore thumb."
Maureen had agreed to look after Freddie two years ago after he was seen wandering along her country road.
The nearby farmer, who has geese, explained to her that he kept escaping to look for his female companion who had been killed by a fox.
But Freddie settled into his new home and made friends with her ducks and chickens - and Maureen admits she now has a very close bond with him.
"As soon as I say 'Freddie' he starts squawking," she added. "I just love him and I’ve become so attached to him."