Continuing with the “animals in places you don’t expect them” theme, today’s was a swan, walking over a busy pedestrian and traffic bridge. The river was ten feet below us, with lots of fences and bollards and slipways blocking a natural route to it, and so I was concerned as to how the swan had ended up on the bridge, and whether it was able to make it back to the water. Yes, I know swans can fly, but this one looked very confused.
You don’t realise how big swans are until there’s one standing right next to you. Their feet in particular are massive, huge swathes of black rubbery flaps between long claws. I didn’t want to get too close to it, partly because the old urban myth about swans breaking men’s arms was echoing in my head, but mostly because its beak looked pretty sharp and there was a glint in its eye.
(Although it wasn’t as bad as the seagull’s standard “I hate you human scum” look. I am convinced that seagulls are plotting to take over the world and kill us all, and every time they eye up a person, they are formulating dastardly plans involving du Maurier-esque tactics. Maybe they are recruiting the swans as allies?)
Anyway, back to the “distressed” swan. It was waddling first one way, then the other, and I started to think that a call to the RSPB might be in order. And then, just as I was plotting out the best course of action, another swan swooped right over my head…
… and I narrowly, oh so narrowly, avoided being dive bombed with guano.
It was a close call.
The other swan, so clearly not a victim but merely a decoy, the bait in this avian plot, looked at me squarely, a look of satisfaction on its beaky face. I swear it was laughing.
Moral of the story: don’t be taken in by swans pretending to look all confused and in need. Being humiliated by a swan before the first coffee of the day is not the best way to begin the week.