Monday, June 22, 2015
Steve and Lady
My wife is growing a tad concerned toward my relationship with our two pool swans. She uses words like "obsession" and "creepy." But, hey, sticks and stones...right? Though I have quietly observed her journey around my so-called creepy obsession going from "playing along," to complete disinterest (poorly feigned, I must say), to me discovering a Google search history on "mental health facilities in central Tennessee."
Frankly, I don't know what the problem is.
I purchased, inflated, and installed Steve a couple of years ago. I found him on Amazon and thought that his stately presence would be a nice addition to our pool. I was quite proud of him and he became, for lack of a better phrase, something of a son to me. For that year, and last year, he seemed satisfied to be the lone occupant of the pool, except for an occasional spider, frog, and, in one instance, a very confused and frightened baby rabbit. I have to credit Steve with taking on the suave demeanor of the consummate confirmed bachelor. He was truly an exceptional son. I mean, swan.
This spring, I noticed that Steve looked a bit, should I say, downtrodden. He'd let his appearance go over the winter. Unbeknownst to me, a hard southern wind had buffeted him from the pool, into the surrounding foliage, and he had endured February and March trapped up against the corner of the fence that surrounds the pool. Out of sight. Out of mind. Anyway, when I finally noticed him missing and searched him out, he had quite a bit of mildew buildup and was remarkably deflated. Not to mention a good dose of goosey attitude.
After a bleach bath and a few puffs of air, accompanied by my contrite explanation as to why it took me so long to notice him missing, he was as good as new. Almost. Some of the mildew had been impossible to remove, giving him the appearance of a 5 o'clock shadow. There were a few scratches and scrapes on his body, and his eyes and beak line had faded slightly. But that wasn't the real problem. Nope. The real problem was latex deep. Somewhere in his great, airy void. Steve was lonely. I knew it. He knew it.
My wife didn't know it, and according to her, she frankly didn't care.
So back to Amazon, and, thanks to Prime membership, two days later, Lady arrived.
And was she a looker! The beak on that gal!
I couldn't wait to remove the packaging, resuscitate her, and set her afloat.
I did and the results were instantaneous. As soon as Lady's cute little swan butt hit the water, Steve made a beeline toward her. A stiff breeze from the north didn't hurt.
And since then? Inseparable.
Swans mate for life, you know. Yep. Other than the occasional nesting failure (hey, it happens to the best of us) or the untimely death of one of the pair, swans are in it for the long haul. It's obvious when you observe Steve and Lady. Where one goes, the other goes. It's like they're connected at the wing. Sometimes, especially on hot, calm days, they will hook necks and just bob around and around in the same spot.
The pool is their universe and love is their language.
I'm not saying that they don't have a spat now and again. It happens. How does a swan know what perfection feels like unless there's a little imperfection stirred in every so often? And when that rare tiff erupts, Lady will scoot to the other end of the pool and sulk, bouncing and bobbing against the pool liner like she's going to leave and never come back. Then it's just a matter of time before ole Steve slinks over and apologizes. He's such a sucker for her feminine wiles.
I'm sure that there's more than one of you out there who shares my wife's skepticism around the Steve and Lady love affair. That's okay. I don't expect everyone to get it. I've seen it with my own eyes. Plus, you can't be around pool swans for long without picking up on their vibes. And, you know, at the end of the day, the important thing is that they have each other and what people think doesn't really matter. Does it?
In fact, they would like nothing better than to be able to declare their undying love for each other in voices so loud the entire world could hear. They would like to proclaim their monogamy from the rooftops. Or at least from the deep end to the shallow end. If it were even remotely possible, they wouldn't hesitate to snort it across the the mountains, hiss it upon the four winds, and wou wou their whoopee to the masses.
Nope. That would suit them just fine.
You know, it's too bad they're mute swans.