And when the nest building and love-making are done, as the long spring afternoon stretches ahead, Mr. Mute-Swan stretches his wings and heads over to the other side of the pond to harass the Demon Geese who stole his nest. No matter that he has built a new nest and a very fine nest it is.
“Never forgive, never forget” is his motto.
In the assault, note that Mr. Mute-Swan does not actually attack Mr. and Mrs. Canada-Goose directly. Instead, he attacks the nest and its underpinnings. There’s no physical contact between the warring birds. It’s a war of principle, not annihilation.
Perhaps that is one of the differences between “creatures” and “humans.” We actually kill each other for far less worthy reasons than having had our nest stolen. Mostly, animals don’t unless, of course, they are hungry. Or it’s mating season and there’s a SHE to be won. Cherchez la femme, even if you are a bird.
The attack continues.
And again, from another angle … still, with no direct contact.
The geese don’t look all that upset. Perhaps the attack is part of the ritual? And everyone seems to know the rules of the game. They were probably born knowing.
“I think I hear my wife calling,” says Mr. Mute-Swan and he slowly circles the nesting geese one final time. “But I’ll be back. Don’t you think this is over.”
- Battle of the Nests – Chapter 3 (teepee12.com)
- Swans On Our Pond (teepee12.com)
- Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) (ncfscience.wordpress.com)
- A silent ballet for mute swans at Humber Bay (thestar.com)
- Pair of nesting geese takes over a Hunterdon Medical Center parking lot (nj.com)