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 it is a fine nest.
“What ho! Incoming” cry Mr. and Mrs. Canada-Goose. “Prepare to repel Mute-Swan!”
In the assault, notice that our swan does not actually attack the geese directly. Instead, he attacks their nest. 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 kill each other unless they are hungry. Or it’s mating season and there’s a lady creature to be won. Cherchez la femme, even when 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. Is the attack part of an ongoing ritual? All parties seems to know the rules of the game. They were probably born knowing.
“I think I hear my wife calling,” says Mr. Swan. He slowly circles the nesting geese one final time. “But I’ll be back. Don’t think this is over. It won’t be over until you are gone from this pond.”
And it the end, the Canada geese gave up and moved to a different part of the river. It’s hard to figure why they bother to fight since there is so much water around. There is more than enough room for both of them and all the other waterfowl, too.
Be at peace, larger feathered friends.