Here’s What I Have Learnt Today: Love Isn’t Always Rewarded

I like to think of this world as a good world. I think, overall, every day is a positive one and the people and things we encounter on a daily basis are more positive than negative. I believe that, if you are kind and positive, kind and positive things seem more apparent to you. However, sometimes, something may happen which will wake me from my little bubble of positivity. Such a thing happened today…

I live in a little cottage next to a canal. As today was as gorgeous as it was, I decided to go for a walk along the tow path to enjoy the sun and the¬†scenery. Minding my own business, I came across a family of swans and I smiled. Here’s why…

A couple of months ago, next to my cottage, two swans began to nest. The female swan – the pen – was always sat upon her nest with her eggs whilst her “husband” – the cob – would glide around, making sure his family were kept from harm (I have thrown in a little nature lesson there too. My pleasure). At night the cob would join his wife/concubine at the nest, they would cosy up together and spend the night as a family. Whenever I drove past the nest, I’d slow down and have a quick check to make sure they were well and happy. They always were.perbandingan smartphone

One day I drove past and the swans weren’t there. The eggs had gone too. My first thought was that a fox had attacked them. My second thought was that vandals had been up to no good. My third thought was that I was really hungry (it was lunchtime when I drove past). So, I parked up, got out of my car (I do that on a daily basis. Well, I may as well. I do have a house to live in, after all) and went for a wander to the canal. There, swimming merrily down the river, was a family of swans. The Mum, the Dad and the 4 children. It made me feel good. I had watched these swans from their initial courting, throughout the expectant weeks and now, finally, as one happy family. I was rather jealous, if I’m honest. When it comes to basic family principles, they had it all.

So, back to today. There I was, wandering up the path, when I saw the family of swans I had watched for so long. In all honesty, I am not sure what I was expecting. Would I see a look of gratitude in their faces? Would the signets¬†waddle over because their parents had told them to see their “Uncle Al”? Maybe they’d perform some sort of swan dance? What I didn’t expect to happen was this:

The bloody Dad went for me!! Me!!! The guardian of his family! His friendly neighbour! Me – “Uncle Al”!!!!

Bear in mind that I was on the footpath. It wasn’t as if I was performing a Jesus-esque march over the canal towards them, they had chosen to stand where humans dared to tread. As I walked, slowly, closer, the Dad’s wings raised into the air. He hadn’t “said” anything, but I knew not to go any further. I stopped and looked, saddened by this lack of gratitude. Just then, a cyclist came by and, as he did, the cob lashed out towards him, smashing him on his forearm.

In the village where I live there are 4 pubs. One of pubs is quite rough and this cob is JUST the sort of character you’d see in there (well, apart from being swan). Initially, I thought the family must have gone out for a pub meal and he’d been on the old Stellas. Then – probably taking longer than it really should have – I realised that was ridiculous. He was a swan – how could he afford Stella?

The most upsetting thing about this blatant anti-social behaviour was how the mother reacted. It was she who’d been there, sat on her nest, whenever I drove by. She was the one who had seen me daily, who had seen that I’d been checking, making sure she and her family were well. It was her who, I had hoped, would have told her hubby to calm down. But no. She just looked straight ahead with a look that said, “I’m not bothered”. Like the people on Jeremy Kyle or Jerry Springer do when someone they don’t care about comes on stage. That’s what hurt the most. That she just didn’t care.

If, indeed, that is the case. Of course, it could all be down to the fact that she DID care. There she was, with this “man” who would swim up and down the canal, showing his feathers to any woman who passed by. Every day, she was sat on her nest, unable to see her friends or have any life away from the eggs. He was out, probably boozing, probably gambling, not coming home until it was dark. So was it that she didn’t care? Or was it that she DID care? Was it that she knew I was there for her, making sure she was safe, paying her attention. Was THAT the reason that she couldn’t look me in the eye, the reason he got so angry, so jealous.

No, of course it wasn’t. They’re swans.

So, if anything has come from all this, here’s what I have learnt today: Swans will try and break your arm and, if you defend yourself, the Queen is allowed to chop your head off. Do Love Wildly, Don’t Love Wildlife.