Nice knowing ya, hand.On the outside, swans are graceful, revered members of the bird kingdom long held as symbols of ultimate beauty and love in literature and the arts. Now that mating season is upon us, you might see more of these majestic waterfowl at the town park or lake and even be tempted to move up close for a picture of the sweet white bird or to toss them some bread.
Well. Don't buy into the deception.
Best advice is, run away. Keep you and your children away from these mean f**kers at all costs. Swans are the most underestimated and devious of all waterfowl. They just want to kill you and eat you, and they know they have us all totally fooled by their pretty exterior. Swans are scarier than pit bulls and hungry lions, and as proof take a look at this recent video of a Florida woman being attacked by a swan at a bank. Crazy bird actually walked into the bank!
Granted, this video is not as horrible as overexaggerated and sensationalized to the hilt above. Biologically speaking, the part about swans wanting to murder you may or may not be factually correct, but that's not what you think when you are in the process of being stalked and terrorized by one that was clearly a lot more calculated than the swan shown in this video. If you had been in that position yourself about eight years ago in a kayak on a pond in the Hamptons you would totally acknowledge this.
The swan who attacked me is so famous for terrorizing people in the Hamptons that he has a name and several articles written about him. Fred the Swan is a male who resides on Georgica Pond in East Hampton, near a place that rents ocean kayaks. If you dare ...
It was a lovely early summer Saturday when my husband, his best friend, and my brother-in-law set out on the pond with our sights set on an afternoon of riding waves. What should have taken about a half hour of paddling through the tranquil water to the sea ended up a horrific two-and-a-half hour ordeal. Just minutes in the water, we were contantly followed, hissed and lurched at, and redirected by Ferocious Freddie. At one point the swan and his big-ass ruffled body came so close to my brother-in-law that he capsized and for a moment there, I thought he was a goner.
By the time I got to the ocean I was so anxiety ridden and nauseous I had no desire to play in the water. I just wanted to go home, but that meant enduring another trip from hell back through the pond. Honestly can't say how we made it back, I think the fear caused me to block it all out.
Fred was only doing what swans do -- he was protecting wife and baby swans by trying to scare us away and off his pond. He probably has to deal with hundreds of annoying kayakers like me intruding on his home on a daily basis and how does he know any one of them is not there to hurt his family. I give him that.
But he's also ruined the whole "beautiful swan thing" for me and lots of others, because I tell this story any time "swans" come up in conversation, which is surprisingly a lot more than you think.
Just something the ponder the next time your toddler asks if he can pet the pretty white duckie.
What type of animal terrifies you? Have you ever been attacked by a swan?
Image via Mary Thompson/Flickr