There’s a bench in the park across from my house. It sits atop a spiralling path on a hill, and it oversees everything. I would sit there every night watching the bevy of swans take flight at one end of the pound just to come swooping down at the other. Their take off’s just like planes: momentum is gathered until that vital second when they lift, and I would almost feel the sensation in my stomach as they did so. Such beautiful creatures. It baffles me how someone has a claim to them: “ They are mine. All mine”, she says without saying.
One night, with nothing but the moon lit reflecting off the ripples of the pond, I sat there watching the swans. A group of young men dressed in a deathly black appeared, moving swiftly to the pond. I watched them split up and try and round the swans up like they were sheep. They struggled at first, but eventually they grabbed one and bagged it.