our-girl-friday just donated to my team in the Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon! (Message me if you’re interested in donating!)
In reward I present a follow up to yesterday’s post in which Erik is an angry over-protective swan.
“Now, do you see these thinner, green stalks? Not the grass, but the water plants. These have very tasty tubers that are ready to be eaten in springtime after the third moon following the—”
“I don’t like tubers,” Pietro says, interrupting Erik’s lecture.
“You’ll like these,” Erik says, ruffling his feathers a little in annoyance.
Pietro starts to chirp in disagreement, but then Lorna swims a little too close and bumps hard into his tail, nearly climbing up on top of him in confusion. Pietro snaps at her and they both nearly upend in the shallow water.
“No, biting,” Erik says, bowing his head down and nudging them apart with his beak. “Lorna, watch where you’re swimming, and—wait, where’s Wanda?” He lifts his head back up without waiting for a response. He could hear her splashing around on his left a moment ago, but now that side of the little inlet is empty and quiet except for the lapping of waves on the shore. The water is choked with water grass and pussy willows here, creating a green curtain all around them that could easily conceal a small lost cygnet. Or any number of predators. What was he thinking taking them so close to the bank like this? He never should have brought them so far away from the nest in the first place. What if that boat of humans from this morning came back? How can he go back to Charles and tell him that he lost one of their babies? How can he lose another after Anya—
Erik starts to rise up out of the water in his panic, spreading his wings as he swings his neck back and forth frantically. “Wanda? Wanda?” He to go into a defensive stance, searching for something to attack, but then there’s a loud squawk from directly behind him.
“Geez, Dad, I’m right here!”
Erik spins his neck around and there she is, perched on his back and teetering wildly as he rears up. He sinks back down in the water and folds his wings back so she’s surrounded in a white ring of feathers. “You scared me half to death, young lady!”
“Sorry, sorry, calm down,” Wanda says, rolling her eyes at his overprotectiveness. But she still coos as Erik starts preening her in relief. Lorna scrambles up his tail feathers to get nuzzled as well, while their brother struggles ineffectively against his flank.
“Dad! Dad! I can’t get up! Dad!”
“Okay, okay, everyone on board,” Erik grumbles, helping Pietro up with a bump of his beak. “But I’m not a taxi, and you all still need to practice your diving.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Pietro says, shaking out the water from his feathers and settling in at the prime spot right where Erik’s wings meet. “We’ll all eat lots of tubers later.”
They’re almost too old to ride now, but, well, Erik might as well enjoy having them all safely in one place while he can. He pushes past some water lilies and takes them out into the deep water toward the center of the river.
*cries* You guys, you guys, look what Cyg wrote. LOOK AT IT.
Also, if you knew the backstory to this you would get all wibbly and emotional like I’m doing right now, and honestly, when they’re SWANS they give me feelings.