My story starts several years ago, long before Inn Keepers Cheri, Doug and Ryan came into the Bed and Breakfast picture here at Swan Song Inn.
The "others" brought me here as a young Cob. They then brought me a young Pen for my mate. Unfortunately, a fox took her away from me. So for a few years I was alone until the "others" brought me another very young Pen. She was beautiful and sleek. I loved her. All seemed fine, and one day a turtle, (nasty amphibian) took a piece of my Pens webbing off her foot. She had trouble with that foot every day from then on.
We were building our nest to be ready for cygnets, and we both were very excited. During my show of love for my Pen, she stopped breathing. I didn’t know what to do. I climbed on land and let the Inn Keepers Doug, Cheri and Ryan know that something was wrong, very wrong. They came to see, and when they tried to take her away I fought very hard for her. I never saw her again. I sang the song of my people for three days. They say we are mute, but we have a bellow that can be heard from a distance.
So for a few days I was very distraught and I even thought of flying away. I flapped my huge wings but never left the lake.
Photo credit to His Fingerprint Photography
I start my days patrolling my parameters. The Lake is my home and I ferociously guard it from trespassers. I allow a few ducks to coexist with me, for without them I would be very very lonely. I also allow just a few wild geese to stay here to mate and raise their young. I tolerate them barely; such vile creatures, but we all have a purpose on this earth. I watch them and the ducks raise their young and my memory flows back to my Mrs.
The winters here are not as cold as my native area up north. From time to time I am glad the geese are here. They add numbers that help keep a spot of open water on the lake. The Inn Keepers have only had to break ice for me one time
I am very vigilant when guarding my lake. I know the second the front door of the Inn has opened. I know when one of those loud moving things on wheels is coming over my dam. I know if deer are drinking from the edge or moving in on my leftover cracked corn the Inn Keepers give me two times every day. I am forever watching the skies to see if a mate may be looking for me. From time to time I attempt to stretch my wings to the heavens and fly north in search, but alas, I never leave the water. My routine is mundane, but I have purpose, food and safety here. I have accepted my life as it is.
I see the loud thing that moves Inn Keeper Cheri along the dam. I see that she does not disappear into the Inn as usual. . I notice that she has set up that see through contraption that the ducks seem to always get caught in. It is in the yard by where I like to build my nest; I go to investigate very quickly. I do not understand what she is doing over here. This is MY area and I don’t tolerate much activity over here. Just ask the humans that I have ran off. They are scared of my large wings and I can move really fast when I want to. Most is all bluff, but don’t tell anyone.
Oh my stars! I see a cloud of feathers. Could that be a Pen in the back of that wheeled thing? She is not white, like me. She is not making any noise; does she not see my majestic self? What is this sad creature that should be so white and is not?
I watch closely as she is handled ( oh I see she hates this) much hissing involved. But Inn Keepers Doug and Cheri are very gentle and are talking to her softly. They are singing to her. “Her name in Lola, she was a showgirl” Once she is in the see thru contraption, she takes a drink and I swim up to introduce myself. She meets me at the edge of the cage and we touch chests. Oh this is a good sign, SHE LIKES ME!!!
Feeding time is together, I spend most of my time at this side of the lake. I do not want her out of my sight. I still wonder why she is not white and glamorous like me. She begins telling me her story. She lived with some very nice keepers, but her space was not like this. She had a lot of mud and clay and no grass. She told me she has never seen such beauty as what is here. Oh I take so much for granted.
For two days the see thru contraption separates us. Then Inn Keepers Doug, Cheri and Ryan open the door and she swims free. I thought she would come straight to me. NO…. she stopped to take a bath. Girls….sigh. She says she has never had this much clean water to swim in before and she was going to use it.
After her bath she swims to me and again we touched chests. This is how we greet each other. Sometimes we make our necks into a heart shape, (humans love this) and entwine our necks. This is a part of courting. I have allowed our Keeper to see this just a few times, but never allowed her to video it. Privacy please! She always has that picture taking device with her.
The next few weeks was molting season and the shore line looked as if one of us has exploded. Feathers everywhere! But as time passed and I look upon her, I realize she is no longer clay colored but is as majestic as I. I have found MY Queen. Her name is Mrs. Lola
Well another season of red bows and bells on the front of the Inn has come and gone and more cold weather will be upon us soon.
This is the time we take to nest building. I noticed an abundance of straw has materialized up on the other side of my lake. Maybe I will show this to Mrs. Lola. Our time to show love is coming up soon and I hope I am an acceptable partner. I hope we succeed in nesting eggs and raising young. I will feel so complete and my purpose will be fulfilled.
So come out to the Inn, meet the Inn Keepers who take good care of me. We may have Cygnets this spring to watch. Check out that web thingy, www.swansonginn.com I hear humans talking about while they are strolling along the lake. I hear them say how relaxing it is here. Then I, of course, have to come out of the water to remind them who is in charge.
Until later in the spring,
Mr., King of the Lake at Swan Song Inn