Swans Through the Seasons
I got down to the Lagoon on Sunday Nov 27 and things were pretty calm - Tristan and Isolde came up to eat at this end. Then... Bijan came closer - he must have been pretty hungry, and decided he'd try his luck in "the royal domain" i.e. Tristan and Isolde's territory. Tristan promptly stopped eating, hurried back to the water, with Isolde following him. Meanwhile, Thea was enjoying her food by the bench - no problem. Before I knew it, I heard the unmistakable loud FLAPs of wing-to-wing combat, and noticed 3 stunned people standing near the next tree over, staring open-mouthed at the water. I had hurried there to see if it was Bijan and Tristan - of course it was!
"OMG, what are they DOING?!" asked the young woman in the group. "Oh, just trying to kill each other!" I replied.
I'm getting positively hardened to these goings-on. I mean, there they were, 'way out in the water - not a single thing I could do, except yell at them ("Stop it this minute, you silly swans!"). Well! I absolutely was NOT going to stand there and watch the mayhem, so I went back to the first spot where....oh yes, Thea was still binge-eating happily from her pan. The two swans kept at it - about five minutes - reared up out of the water, necks twisted around each other, wings beating. But this time, both mates (Isolde and Marika) joined in the melee - each one attacking the "opposition" from the rear. Now we had FOUR swans, splashing foamy water, FLAP, FLAP, FLAP. "You're IDIOTS!" I hollered.
Then... who'd believe it.... the two drenched, waterlogged, dripping, half-dead swans BOTH swam up to the concrete slope, dragged themselves onto the land, and flopped down beside each other! They lay there, unable to even move, each swan's head draped across his body.....one eye open, staring at each other. I swear I could hear Tristan telegraph a thought to Bijan, "Gee, I'm just about dead!" and Bijan reply, "Yeh, me too!"
They continued to lie there while I hovered over them until Bijan slowly got up and went back to the water while little Isolde stood over Tristan, all fluffed up, wings flicking. I stroked him (he was too pooped to protest) and told him off for being "such a silly swan" as he slowly got his breath back. Then he went back to the water. Bijan swam west with Marika, Tristan east, not looking at each other. Isolde went back to the water - she and Tristan made a heart ("my hero") and later, both Bijan and Tristan ... from a distance....stood up on their tail the way they do and spread their wings in a flapping triumph - pretending it was really nothing at all.
Meanwhile, I'm STILL recovering!!