By Becky Davies

A bevy of Swans spent their days gliding along the same stretch of the River Thames. The river was deep and wide, with ribbon like ripples. One Swan amongst the bevy always dreamt of travelling upriver to Windsor Castle, ‘if only I could reach Windsor Castle and become one of Her Majesty the Queen’s swans I will have made it’. Each day, the same thing, the Swan swimming against the energy of the river daydreaming of reaching the castle.

The Swan made slow but steady progress along the river, through busy towns and cities. On its’ journey through the peaceful forest, the Swan met another bevy of mute swans. The Swan was instantly attracted to a Swan whose feathers were snowy white and neck was long and slender. The Swan glided directly into its path and locked heads creating a beautiful heart from the shape of their connection, it was love. The Swan joined its’ love and settled with the new bevy of Swans, learning how to gather food and care for its love and the group.

Springtime, the birds were singing and the flowers blossoming. The time came to nest as the wonder of new life was emerging, Cygnets were on the way. As each Cygnet hatched the Swan had an overwhelming sense of protection for not only its own Cygnets but others within the bevy. Many happy days were spent on the glistening river teaching the Cygnets all they needed to survive and flourish.

One beautiful summer day, the Cygnets, bathed in sunshine were having fun gliding and ducking down for algae when the Swan sensed danger, a fox was tip-toeing towards the riverbank. The Swan followed, lowering its gaze, gliding with determination to reach the riverbank and the Cygnets first. When the time was right, the Swan did what it must and outstretched its’ wings far and wide to overwhelm the sly fox and send him scurrying away. The Swan, although scared felt a sense of accomplishment in keeping the Cygnets safe and the bevy of Swans were in awe of its courage and extremely grateful.

Old father time passed and over the years, the Swan continued to nurture and fiercely protect many sets of Cygnets, taking pride in caring and teaching them while they grow and then seeing them fly away on their own journey.

One day the Swan said to its love, ‘I am proud of how we have raised our Cygnets to be beautiful gracious swans, but I am sad I never got to reach Windsor castle to become a Queens swan’.

The Swans’ love answered ‘Never underestimate the work you have done here, you are my hero. As for Windsor Castle, you have not failed as we are all the Queens swans no matter which part of the River Thames we glide.

The majestic Swan smiled and felt satisfied at succeeding after all.