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Swans know which side their bread is buttered on


Yesterday was a day in Houston for a doctor appointment. Unlike the previous Thanksgiving weekend—dreary, rainy and cold, the day was bright and filled with sunshine. Although there is a parking garage at the doctor’s office, maneuvering my truck through all those turns and low ceilings does not put me in a calm mood. Whenever possible, I park in the Herman Park and zoo parking lot and walk over to my appointment.

The walk is pleasant and I encounter others strolling through the park, some on bicycles, some with strollers, a few runners. But then there is the pond system, the fountain in the middle and the ever present water fowl presence. Earlier this year, I encountered a family of ducklings trailing after their mother—and there is always time to sit on a bench and just enjoy.

Yesterday a few people sat on the side of the pond and threw some sort of food to the birds.

A man dressed in a hoodie and carrying a large plastic bag handed a small bag to a boy and offered tips on the best method of tossing the food.

See the swan in the upper left corner? She (?) kept an eye on that man with the hooded sweatshirt and the bag of food. She circled around but never came close to the children.

I don’t know why he had that net in his hands but that swan clearly recognized him.

As he walked off to the left and around the pond, she paddled as fast as she could to keep up although the children were still tossing food to the remaining birds.

Then he was gone down the path and she came paddling back–perhaps hoping for some crumbs from the children–but they had also left—the bag of food empty and they were ready to hop on the little train circling the park.

This is such a wonderful park filled with benches here and there; birds, turtles, trees, fountains, paddle-boats. Not quite Central Park in New York City but still a treasure.

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