I’ve been hissed at before, I’ve been flapped at before, but this is the first time that I have ever come to physical blows with a swan.
Errands to run.
Towpath, no alternative route.
No alternative return route, either, damn it.
Mr Swan, anxious to not look like a Dilbert in front of Mrs Swan and the kids, claims ownership of the towpath – which is somewhat narrow at that point.
I have not one but two opposable thumbs, and my species invented the wheel. If anyone thinks that I am somehow honour-bound to chance my life on the (pavement-free) (full of speeding lorries) Chester A-Road simply to maintain a swan’s notion of “safe space” then that person has another think coming.
I gave them every possible opportunity to slip into the water – or to share the towpath nicely with me.
To sum up all ten rounds of the fixture:
- It was Mr Swan who insisted on the contest in spite of my best endeavours to avoid, escape and defuse the situation.
- I punch like a big girl’s blouse, especially when I am trying to hold the moral high-ground by pulling my punches.
- I think that I may have squealed a bit during rounds five and six.
- Mr Swan won’t take “look – I am retreating” for an answer.
Mr Swan also attacks from behind, and he just keeps on coming back for more.
On my return from my errands Mr & Mrs Swan and the kids were, I thought, safely in the water, on the far side of the wide canal. Phew. Thanks and praise be to Ruddybiggus Nastybirdicus, the Roman god of foul waterfowl.
Hah! Not a bit of it, Mr Swan came paddling over, very eager indeed for a re-match.
Why do folk like swans? They are even more nasty, bad-tempered and over-territorial creatures than are humans. I may have “won” the match (by standing my ground, twice, and not getting my arm broken – swans do that, apparently they enjoy breaking arms) but I don’t even get any “glory” for my successful self-defence, just some awful, awful guilt at having been forced to gut-punch an overgrown sparrow.
It’s all wrong, just so wrong. I may be 6′-&-a-smidge tall and built like a Chieftain Tank GTi, but a fully-grown swan, such as this little …darling… has a 6′ plus wing-span, and a beak on a long neck. Why do I feel so guilty for defending myself from an unprovoked attack in a public space?
I should add that there are – as far as I know – no photographs of the altercation, since I was a little bit busy doing other things – with both hands. The swan shown above is the previous nasty, belligerent swanosaurus-rex who had a go and then waddled along the towpath after me for seconds while I was near the town of Middlewich a week or two ago.
Ruddy wildlife. Don’t they know that I am a vegetable-aryan?
Moreover, vegetable-aryan because I love animals*.
[*Spiders, snakes, anything that blinks sideways and/or has “feelers” or chitinous bodywork or stingers/poison-glands excepted.]
I may in future suspend this rule where swans are concerned.
May I respectfully submit the following for mass consideration:
Swan rosted. Cut a Swan in the rove of the mouthe toward the brayne enlonge, and let him blede, and kepe the blode for chawdewyn, or elles knytte a knot on his nek, and so late his nekke breke, then skald him. Drawe him and roast him even as thou doest goce in a poyntes, and serve him fort wit chawd-wine.
According to CaRT “life’s better by water“.
Seriously, what the Hell would they know about it?
Ian H., Thoroughly discomnobulated.
More damned bruises that I shall have to somehow explain to my Social Worker.
Where’s my P.T.S.D.? Where’s my compensation? What are the symptoms of “bird-flu” and can a chap catch it from having a swan bite and hold onto his nose? Will the R.S.P.B. now kick in my bow doors, arrest me and put me through some sort of show-trial – and on what charge?