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The Swan

Tags: oddness, swan

I saw something one night. Could it be what it appeared to be?

Strange things do happen and more often than not they tend to happen to me. This is the telling of the kind of thing that does happen. Went into the bar of a nearby hotel one evening, met up with a few of the lads, had a few drinks, and watched the televised football. It was late in the year, quite nippy outside but after having a few pints it always doesn't seem to be quite as cold as it actually is.

It was fairly dark as nights tend to get the later they go, until morning begins to make its way round that is. After having the few drinks and with it being so chilly I of course just want to get home, well get home after paying a visit to the chip shop first, which luckily enough for me is right next door to the hotel where I had just been.

The hotel and surrounding area is within my home town. It is right smack in the middle of where the old town village meets the new town village. The place that I call home, at any sober moment, would just be about a fifteen minute walk away from where I so happened to be. Coming out of the chipper and back towards the hotel then down and across to the right is the exit of the grounds I in this moment find myself on and making my way through this exit is how my journey home began. I make my exit and turn left and onto a footpath to indeed head home.

At the end of this stretch of road and across the street there is a public park with absolutely no lighting going through it at all. Now I could go either left or right and walk around the park where things are well lit up or I could go through the totally dark mid-section and head straight home. Going left or right would easily add a further ten to fifteen minutes to my journey at the best of times, it gets relatively longer after having been out for a few hours of drinking so through the mid-section of this park it was.

Sober you are likely to make one decision, not quite so sober and the decision-making process can alter somewhat. Anyhow, home it is, and I’d be fairly determined to get there one way or another.

Now it was a nice enough night being out and about, well apart from it being so dark and cold that is, and of course, as alluded to, the intoxication level can alter perception to some degree at least. Indeed, it was a nice night with only a light breeze flowing and for the most part, it was dry. As I walked through the park a full moon shone bright and across the lake that stretched out to my left. Because of the illumination provided by the moon I was able to see a single swan towards the right-hand side of the lake.

I looked away and looked back again, something which only took a short moment, the swan was no longer where it had just been, it was now towards the left-hand side of the lake when it had been on the opposite side only a moment or so prior. This difference was not down to the level of inebriation I so happened to be at, nor could it be possible that it simply was another swan. There was only one swan in that lake on both occasions I looked.

To back that fact up, I did look around to make sure that there wasn't more than one swan but when I had looked across the waters as a whole, the swan that I had noticed was now not in the lake at all. There weren't any swans to be seen anywhere. I continued on my way regardless of what I may or may not be seeing. However, I was soon stopped in my tracks as there definitely now was a swan to be seen and it was standing literally ten feet in front of me having seemingly appeared out of nowhere at all. This cannot be the same swan, can it?

'What the hell?' was my immediate thought, then there was the thought that I must have had a dodgy pint or two back at the hotel or maybe there was some kind of special sauce on the burger I got from the chip shop.

Something made a noise behind me, sounded like a twig snapping but there was no one or no thing around that could have created such a sound. The noise had distracted me for a split second so when I faced forward again the swan was no longer in front of me, but now it somehow was back towards the right hand side of the lake. I, by this point, definitely thought that I must have had a dodgy pint.

I soon made my way out of the far side of the park and into a housing estate where a small Jack Russell dog came running at me from out of a garden but as soon as it got anywhere near me, it turned around and ran back into the garden it came from, whimpering. I didn't do anything to it, hardly even looked at it so I found the dog's actions strange, to say the least. I continued on up the road until I got home and when I got in I went directly to bed.

Got up the next morning and I couldn't help think of what a strange journey I had coming home the night before. Strangely enough, where I needed to go on this particular occasion would bring me back to that mid-section of the park. Daylight obviously had returned so there was no problem choosing the quickest route for where I needed to go. When I entered the mid-section of the park, I noticed that there was quite a bit of commotion going on down by the right hand side of the lake.

I asked a passer-by what was going on and I was told that some kids found a dead swan at that side of the lake and that Park Rangers were now attending to it. I was also to be told that these Park Rangers reckoned that the swan had probably died sometime around early evening of the night before.

So what really happened when I made my way home that night? Had I seen some sort of ghost or spirit of the dead swan which had been found? The hell if I know though it all is very strange indeed. I now try avoiding that park after dark, and that includes at times where I may have consumed an adult beverage or two.


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