One of the swans came up to us so Mama fed it the only thing she had handy - a peanut butter cracker sandwich thing.
It enjoyed the treat, and wanted more.
It came closer. Brynne reached out her hand to pet it and it snapped at her. It snapped a second time, coming within inches of her cute little nose - apparently confusing her button nose for a button shaped treat. Brynne didn't so much as flinch.
|You are about to get a whooping Mr. (or Mrs.) Swan|
Papa intervened at this point. I put myself between the swan and Brynne, holding out one arm to ward it off and the other to hold Brynne back. The swan, still delirious from the wonderful peanut butter cracker thing, tried to take a bite out of my arm. Obviously, it thought I was either afraid of it or it didn't realize I was much bigger than the child it just tried to attack.
I didn't move my arm and so it's beak grabbed on, ever so briefly. They have tiny little teeth, and they are mildly sharp, but they didn't break the skin or even leave a red mark.
The swan pulled back, trying to judge the situation. When it came in for the second attempt to bite my arm it met my closed fist instead.
Dear PETA members - I did not punch the swan. I merely held my fist out and the swan initiated all contact with my stationary hand. No animal abuse here.
The swan then realized the gravity of it's mistake and went off in search of other snacks. Unfortunately, the first thing it saw was Mama and Hadley. It took a few steps toward them, realizing this was the actual source of the food.
Hadley was holding a cracker, waiting to throw it. The swan moved in and took a shot at the cracker. It missed, but managed to hit Hadley in the pig tail. Hadley looked stunned, and nothing more, but was quickly moved to tears when Mama screamed.
The swan, perhaps a mother itself, recognized the scream and decided it was better off searching elsewhere for food. It scampered off with Brynne and I serving as escorts. Brynne got a big kick when it flapped it's wings and waddled away.
Everyone was fine. Mama apologized for her scream to the first person she saw. Unfortunately, that person happened to be someone jogging by who had not heard the incident due to his headphones. He gave a confused look as she spoke at him, nodded, and picked up his pace - putting distance between himself and the crazy woman.