A Sad Song

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 23, 2017

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Submitted: June 23, 2017

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A Sad Song

 

Why had he left her alone? When he returned he found her, his mate, laying still on the bank. Strange that she did not look round at his approach. Even stranger that she did not answer his call.

 

The cob swan approached warily, as if he sensed something was very wrong. From behind she looked fine; her feathers clean and white. It wasn’t until he walked around to the front of her that he saw the hole, the red blood still seeping from the wound. She was dead. His soul-mate was no longer breathing.

 

He knew what had happened and he knew that humans had been responsible. They were the only creatures that seemed to kill just because they could do so. Anything, any other living being, they seemed to regard as nothing more than fair game for their hunting, their sport.

 

The two of them together, him and his mate, could have taken on anyone. Their wings were strong, their beaks would have been able to scare off anyone. But they were no match for the guns that people carried; they had no protection from the bullets. He would have died alongside her, he knew that; but better than how it now was.

 

Swans had one mate, one perfect match; and they never found another. He would rather be lying beside her than to spend the rest of his life without her company.

 

The cob settled himself beside her, rested his chin upon her lifeless body, and he began his mournful song. For hours he stayed there singing and other swans gathered as they heard his sad voice. They were there in support but they left the couple some space, respected his grief and sorrow.

 

All night he lay beside her, protecting her from rodents and scavengers. At first light he knew it was time to say his last farewell. Do swans cry? He felt as though a single tear ran from each eye to land on her neck, where it became absorbed amongst her fine feathers. He closed his eyes and said goodbye in his own silent way.

 

Then it was time. It could not be put off for a moment longer. The cob looked towards his brothers and they stepped forward. The females took up the mournful song while the males moved into their positions.wWhen she had disappeared beneath the water, he floated on the surface, dived down to see that she was settled, then took up position for his long solo vigil. The other swans were already taking flight.

 

All through the day and night he sat beside the lake. When the sun rose in the sky he stood and with a mournful sound stretched out his wings and beat the air. He rose up in flight and flew. He did not know where he was going and was certain that he would return. Maybe then someone would take his life and then he and his mate could be together once more.


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