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The Story of Swanson

In a recent note from Glenda we learned how she and her husband Richard had rescued and cared for an inquired swan, who later came to be known as Swanson, and housed here at Aunt Scarlett’s Farm.

It was early last winter when I noticed a swan on the side of the road in front of our farm. It was clear to me this swan was in distress; he struggled to walk and had difficulty holding his head up.

My immediate thought was to try and get him into our barn and out of the bitter cold; from there we could determine how best to help him. I parked my car on an angle to serve as a barrier and climbed over a four-foot snow bank to position myself behind the swan. My goal was to corral the swan up our laneway leading him toward the barn. It took some doing given the state he was in, but we slowly struggled our way forward.

Once we did reach the barn I knew that I would somehow need to get in front of him so that I could open the barn door. Fortunately just then my husband Richard arrived home and he quickly saw what I was attempting to do. Richard opened the barn door and together we continued to gently corral the swan from behind trying not to frighten him. By then the swan was absolutely exhausted which of course enabled Richard to easily catch him.

We placed him in an empty stall and within minutes he collapsed. Not being prepared to house and feed geese and swans, we left him fresh water and a small amount of horse feed. For the first several days our newly found swan did not appear to be doing well. Richard assumed the position of lead guardian and attentively watched over the swan several times a day; he named him Buddie.

Throughout the winter Buddie slowly regained his strength, and he and Richard did indeed become the best of buddies. On crisp bright winter days when Richard and our daughter were working in the barn, Buddie would venture out for a stroll in the snow. We knew that he could not fly away because it was apparent that one of his wings was permanently damaged, however we were concerned he might wander off. Our worries were unfounded because without fail Buddie would waddle his way back to the barn and settle himself into the stall that had become his winter haven.

Our family grew very attached to Buddie, the swan, but as spring approached we knew it would be selfish of us to keep him because we could not offer him an environment that included a pond.

Richard worked delivering lumber to farms in our area and so he began looking for a suitable new home for Buddie. When he made a delivery to Aunt Scarlett’s Farm, Richard immediately noticed two lush ponds surrounded by woodlands. Thinking this would be an ideal spot for Buddie, he made inquiries and was delighted that Aunt Scarlett was willing to welcome the swan to her farm.

A few days later we brought Buddie to the farm and it was with a heavy heart that Richard carried him across the grass and released him next to the pond. A few tears were shed, but all in all it was wonderful to see Buddie effortlessly glide across the pond.

Throughout the summer we stopped by from time to time. Initially we were worried, as we could not see him in either of the ponds but people on the farm assured us that all was well. We continued to stop by and on a later visit when Richard called to him, Buddie came out from behind some brush in the pond and proudly swam toward us. It was heartwarming to see him.

Thank goodness for places such as Aunt Scarlett’s Farm, where animals who might otherwise meet their demise are cared for and can flourish in what for them is their natural environment.


Swanson with his new mate Shirley



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