GHAGAFAP - Golden Horseshoe Area Geocachers And Friends Annual Picnic
Gustov is the official mascot of GHAGAFAP. He made his first public appearance at GHAGAFAP XI.
Gustov was hatched on an abandoned farm in Sweden. He never got to know his parents as they were not around when he broke through his egg. Instead his first sight was of a very large and furry dog with a small barrel attached around his neck. The dog’s name was Beni and she was the only mother that Gustov ever knew. Beni was a very loving St. Bernard. Gustov was hatched in the warmth of Beni’s dog house. Gustov, along with Beni lived happily for quite some time on this abandoned farm. It was as if the owners just left without notice one day, leaving everything behind. Although it was strange that the only other animal on the farm was a crazy looking goat.
Gustov would spend hours each day exploring the many objects and building on the abandoned farm. Beni was never far behind to make sure that Gustov was safe. Each night Gustov would snuggle up to Beni’s warm fur coat to keep warm. Beni also taught Gustov many lessons in life and they were able to communicate easily with each other. However when Gustov approached the goat and tried to strike up a conversation with him, the goat would just make strange sounds or speak strange words that he just simply could not understand, nor could Beni. The goat seemed content to just keep to himself.
As the year went on, Beni knew that it was time to send Gustov out into the world. The only animals Gustov ever knew and seen was Beni and the crazy goat. Gustov had never seen a human before. Beni prepared Gustov for the world as best as she could. She whispered something in Gustov’s ear and gave him a bag with three pieces of corn and told him that they were special and only use them in case of an emergency.
Gustov started his journey down the long laneway and along the road. He walked for many days without seeing anyone until one day he came to a town filled with people and many other animals running around loose on the streets. Before he knew it however, he was snatched up and thrown into a burlap bag and thrown in the back of a truck. Gustov was scared and didn’t know what was happening. He could hear lots of noises. He kept quiet. After being tossed about in the bag from place to place he began to feel a constant rocking motion. He didn’t know where he was.
Suddenly the top of the bag opened and he could see a man with a large white hat and white jacket and a large knife in his hand. This did not look good and Gustov made a fuss and managed to get free. He ran off with the man chasing him. Gustov jumped into a hole and was now safe for the time being. There was a small round window that Gustov was able to look out of. He could only see water around him. He had just escaped from the ship’s cook and was now in the cargo hold of a large ship. Everything was dark. Here he would spend several more days just waiting alone until finally sunlight appeared as the large doors of the cargo hold opened up.
As the cargo was being unloaded, he managed to sneak off the ship without being noticed. He was now in a strange land where everything was different than where he came from. There was a lot of people in this new land and after spending many more days wandering around and trying his best to avoid the many people, he came to a place known as Guelph. Here he found a safe place to hide out and spend the next few years observing everything around him. During these years he learned a lot including how to speak English, read and write. He was now a very intelligent chicken. Gustov also learned how to do the Chicken Dance which he enjoyed very much.
One day Gustov came across a large gathering of people. He watched them carrying these strange electronic devices and opening containers and writing notes in them. They would then close them and rehid them where they found them. He learned that these were geocaches and he was at an event called GHAGAFAP. He thought this would be fun and asked if he could be part of the event and sure enough in 2012, he became the official mascot of GHAGAFAP. He made many new friends and was loved by everyone.
During the next several months he learned all he could about geocaching and especially how to solve puzzles. He even went to school where he graduated with highest honours. He had no problems interacting with all of the people. Sure he looked different than everyone else, but he was able to interact easily and fit in.
In addition to being the official mascot of GHAGAFAP and helping out with the event, Gustov spends his spare time offering classes on how to solve geocache puzzles. If you ever come across Gustov, be sure to say hi and if you ever need help, he will always be there to lend a helping hand. Gustov still thinks back to his childhood on the abandoned farm in Sweden and often wonders what Beni and the crazy goat are up to. He dreams of meeting Beni again one day and even that goat.
As part of his teachings and wanting to help geocachers with a positive
geocaching experience, Gustov wants to share his Geocaching Tips
Born: 2008 in Sweden
Favourite Dance: The Chicken Dance
Likes: Hats, GHAGAFAP
Interests: Geocaching, Dancing, Teaching, Dressing Up
Favourite Food: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Popcorn
(and Unpopped Corn)
Dislikes: Colonel Sanders, Chickenhawks, Touchers, Dead Batteries, Ovens, Cages
Favourite TV Show: Looney Tunes
Favourite Movie: Poultrygeist
Favourite Music: Lady Gaga
Favourite Colour: Red and White
Best Friends: Bouncy Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn
Here Gustov is pictured in his hand knitted Mexican sweater.
Gustov posed for this drawing by a world famous artist.
**All Gustov images sketched by Middle Earthlings.
GHAGAFAP - Canada's longest running annual geocaching event.