About Swans

I moved to Geneva, Switzerland, this year, doing a job that has me working 50 hours or more a week, plus the occasional working lunch or dinner, at my desk. Also, I live in the same building I work in. As you can imagine, after about a month or two of this, the little Marine voice in me sat me down for a serious talk and said, Bodden, you're getting soft.

So I take kung fu lessons on Saturdays. I'm going to try to make the weekday classes, but Saturday is a requirement, and as much as I hate dragging myself out of bed in the morning, I always feel better afterward. The city seems prettier, the colors brighter, the people more interesting.

This week, on my way home, I stopped and got strawberry gelato from a street vendor, laughed at a small dog, and put five bucks in a busker's flute case because every hero needs mood music as he walks.

And then I saw the swan. You know how birds generally react to humans? They either ignore you or scatter, depending on how close you are or fast you're moving. The sparrows were congregating around a small child tossing bread crumbs, the ducks were quacking at each other, and the swan - spotting me at the same time I turned toward it - just slowed in its glide.

It was like I could hear it thinking, Is today the day? Is today the day I get to #$%* UP A HUMAN? Hmm... I guess not.

As soon as we'd passed each other, it turned and sped back up, and I started walking at a normal pace again.

Swans are pretty cool.

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