An Elegant Beggar


Our water gets lots of ducks regularly and geese come and go in large groups.  We get a loon once in a while and a very rare sea gull (they mainly hang around in the Target parking lot a few miles away!).  When the occasional swan visits, there are usually two.  I don’t remember there ever being more than that.

A few days ago, a lone swan appeared.  Later that day, he was still around and I told Hubby I was going to go out and take some pictures of Elegant Swan as he was swimming past.


About the same time I took this picture, he noticed me.

And, to my surprise, decided to come for a visit!

He would walk a few steps and then stop and turn his head to get a good look at me.  I guess trying to decide if I was friend or foe.

Hubby thought he was probably one of the swans that is fed regularly at a near-by restaurant, where they actually supply bread for customers to feed the Swans and ducks on their pond.  So, he is probably very used to being fed.

I really wasn’t interested in feeding him, so I came inside.  He left then, but as he went, he could see me in the sunroom, so he stopped and looked back several times, as if to say, “Are you sure you don’t have any bread for me?”


It then looked like he was purposely swimming behind some ornamental grass to keep me from taking any more pictures of him.

But I soon realized he had just gone next door to see what was available there!

He was going up to investigate their bird feeder.

But he didn’t stay there long — apparently he felt bird food was a little beneath him, so he went back to the water and swam away.

By this time, Hubby was really interested in him too.  And, decided he wanted to see just how friendly ES was.  So, Hubby went out to the water and immediately when ES saw him, he made a bee-line back to shore.

He and Hubby look like they had a conversation.  Hubby asking ES where he came from.  And ES asking Hubby if he had any bread!

When Hubby had no more questions to ask and went up to sit on the deck, ES followed and nibbled on some plants by the deck, possibly demonstrating that if he didn’t get “real’ food, the plants might pay the price!

But, when he realized threats weren’t going to work, he wandered back to the water and swam off.

But the next day, Elegant Swan (who is really much more elegant in the water than he is waddling on land), came back, and Hubby had decided to feed him.

As soon as he saw Hubby, this time sitting on the steps of the deck, bread in his hand, ES came just about as close to running as I think a swan probably can! 


And he and Hubby then bonded while breaking bread.


After ES got his fill, apparently he felt pretty comfortable with us, because he decided to take an after-dinner nap right there by the deck.

Life is good when your tummy is full and you’ve experienced the kindness of strangers.

15 Responses to An Elegant Beggar

  1. Barbara says:

    SWEET! What a nice story to start my day. Thank you.

  2. Sandra says:

    You’re welcome, Barb. Thanks for becoming a daily reader!

  3. Beth says:

    What beautiful photos and story! I love the sleeping ones the most.

  4. Sandra says:

    Thanks for coming by, Beth! I’m glad you enjoyed the story. I like the sleeping ones too, although you’ll notice he didn’t actually close his eyes. He must not have trusted us THAT much!

  5. SBW says:

    I think you just wrote a children’s book for your grandchildren (and great grandchild)! Print this and give to them as a picture book from Grandma!

    (Or to get fancy, you can get it printed and bound into a book on some of the photo websites. My friend does this for her children, takes picture of them and writes a story using the photos as illustrations and has them made into a book. Super cool.)

    The pictures are great, but the story that goes along with them really makes the photos delighful.

  6. Sandra says:

    Thank you so much, SBW. And I love your idea of personalized books. I may just give books like that for Christmas!

  7. karen says:

    Those photos are great and they tell a lovely story.

    I like SBW’s idea … they would make great Christmas gifts !!

    We have a small lake near us and I love going down there and watching the ducks, geese and swans. We also get lots of seagulls.

    The seagulls confused me at first as they were the las thing I expected to find here. I mean, we are in Nevada, which is not only high sesert, but it’s landlocked and miles from the sea!! Apparently these are inland gulls , though they look exactly like the gulls you sea by the coast..

  8. Candy says:

    I totally agree with SBW! What a great gift to your grandchildren!

  9. Linda says:

    I love SBW’s idea. I made one of those photobooks one time, but I love her suggestion of writing a little story to go with the pictures and giving it to your grandchildren.

  10. Sandra says:

    Karen — I feel the same way about the seagulls when we see them here in Indiana — not exactly a coastal state! I like SBW’s idea too.

    Candy — It does seem like a neat idea, doesn’t it! I’m going to look into it.

    Linda — I don’t remember hearing that you had made a photo book. I’ll talk to you about what you did and how it turned out. I really like the idea.

  11. karen says:

    Remember that game of tag we all played as kids? Well, you’re tagged. So come on over and play 🙂

  12. Danielle says:

    She’s a beautiful bird…lucky she met you both x

  13. Sandra says:

    Danielle — She/he is beautiful, and we’re glad we met too!

  14. Hilary says:

    Wonderful photos and tale. It sure is a tame swan and obviously felt safe with the two of you. That’s quite a gift!

    Last winter we started feeding whole grain bread to the local groups of ducks and geese. A very nature-minded neighbour discouraged us from feeding them bread of any kind as it actually does serious damage to their digestive systems while not really adding any nutritional value to their diets. They fill up on it, don’t eat what they should and their intestines become sluggish, and the birds become ill. I did my own Google searching after hearing her warnings and found her to be quite right. Our “kindness” was doing damage. I’m guessing it’s similar for other water fowl. Veggies might work out better for the critter.. I’m sure that Google could provide that kind of info for swans.

    I just love that last shot. Perfect!

  15. Sandra says:

    Thanks for the info, Hilary. I’m so glad you said something. We’ll have to investigate what is best to feed him.

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