The mysterious mound
Sign of the signets
We live in suburbia and yet. And yet, 10 mins walk along a suburbian estate road, there is a large field on one side and a deep overgrown pond on the other. Next to the field we found a recently cleared pond, still rich with reeds and furry Bulrushes.
There, hidden amongst the Bulrushes, in the centre of the pond was a mound of sticks, rushes and grass. Atop this mysterious mound, curled low to avoid being spotted, was the Queen of the pond; a large white swan. Drifting silently, and ever-vigilantly round the edge, floated her King. His feathers raised to enlarge his ferocity and importance, he hissed through open beak, at any creature daring to approach his domain. We visited, daily, with our gifts of bread and rice and chatted quietly with him to invoke his trust.
At times, hunger and curiosity overcame the Queen and she ventured over to join the King and enjoy a quiet meal. One of them always returned quickly to the mysterious mound in the centre of the pond.
We often walked respectfully round the banks peering into the mound but the rushes and reeds hid the strange contents from us. At times, one of the Royal pair were to be found in the pond on the opposite side of the road, neck submerged deep in the water rummaging for snacks.
One day, a warm sunny, cloudless day, we could find no swans on either pond and the mysterious mound was empty and unguarded. There was a kind of squeak like an unoiled wheel, and two balls of fluff hopped onto the grassy bank, followed by a proud parent. A few moments later a powerful swish, swish reached our ears and the other royal parent arrived, floating down from the sky. The proud parents carefully guided the fluff balls into the water, returned up the bank and hissed loudly at us whilst gobbling up the gifts we had brought.
The King and Queen had Cygnets to watch and protect. They looked at each other and curved their necks in pride over their fluffy balls, in a beautiful romantic heart shape. A job well done.