– Farewell to Boo-Boo –
2009 – Our new year got off to a sad start this weekend when
we discovered Boo-Boo, our beloved Black Australian swan, floating
face down in shallow water at the far end of the pond. Just days earlier on New
Year's Eve she had serenaded us under bright stars at the water's edge while
we and our guests enjoyed a roaring bonfire and celebrated the beginning of a
new year. The
following morning Boo-Boo greeted us again and remained close to the house (rewarded
with bits of bread) happily chattering to herself until dusk. I said goodbye
to Boo-Boo as she waddled back to the pond for the night. That was the last time
I saw her alive. She didn't appear for breakfast the next day. It was raining,
so I didn't give it much thought. I figured she was probably hunkered down
somewhere closer to the pond. By nightfall I was truly concerned. The next morning
we went searching and made our grim discovery.
Boo-Boo's corpse was unmarked by predation. Not
a feather was ruffled. Still, I believe she was the victim of foul play. One
of our more aggressive swans never liked Boo-Boo and harassed her constantly.
She had learned to dodge Castro both in and out of the water, sometimes barely
escaping. I always thought Castro wanted to kill Boo-Boo but was just a little
too slow (or too lazy) to pull it off. Perhaps after three years Castro finally
caught up with her.
We will miss Boo-Boo very much. She was our favorite
swan. The other swans have always viewed us with thinly veiled contempt;
Boo-Boo sought us out. When we were outside she followed us around
the property. When we were inside she usually parked herself near the house and
sometimes honked when she saw us pass a window. My husband was her absolute favorite.
If he was unavailable she could sometimes be found sitting next to his Ford
tractor (a surrogate, perhaps) or standing in the garage next to his car. Occasionally
Boo-Boo even managed to sneak into the house when a door was left open. She
always made a mess on the floor. It's odd how such a big bird with such a little
brain could wheedle her way into our hearts, but Boo-Boo did just that. And
right now are hearts are heavy with our loss. Farewell, Boo-Boo.
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