Since I moved to RD Towers I've spent many of my spare hours observing the river life as it passes by my window. You, as a reader here, will no doubt have shared an image or a word or two as I've gaggled on about geese or battered you with tails of fish. Did you see what I did there?
Swans are another of the species that frequent these parts of the river. Some months ago I was startled to see a fleet of more than twenty five of them float majestically into the marina here. They just drifted in off the main river, had a look around, decided they weren't that interested and drifted out again.
They're both evil and beautiful looking these swans. If they were in a pantomime they'd always be cast as the wicked but incredibly sexy looking stepmother, you're never entirely sure what you're going to get.
As other swans do their thing up and down the river here I watch them with their elegance and their attitude and have been puzzled by one aspect; exactly why they have such long and slender necks.
Everyone knows why giraffes have such long necks, for grabbing the foliage out of trees and keeping their heads attached. But swans don't get involved with tall trees and, as I've watched them, I've concluded that they'd be better off without the long neck. There'd be a dumpiness to them but they'd definitely make more sense.
For the past few months each time I've seen a swan I've felt sorry for him. Us men have nipples and appendixes, or should that be appendices, as useless remnants that nature has given us, women have men and swans have long necks.
Or so I thought until I saw it last week. "It" was a swan, one with no neck and actually no head. It was there, in the water but there was just a big body. I was with the girls when it turned up, so I summoned them and they expressed predictably high levels of total disinterest. I lost interest too.
Days later I saw another of these neckless and headless birds. There it was swimming along, just the body. I knew I was onto something. After some minutes a head popped up out of the water, followed by a long neck. There was some stuff in its mouth and a chewing motion going on.
Since then I've seen lots of the chaps doing the same thing. They stick their heads under the water to fish around and I assume the long neck is nature's way of giving them as long a reach as possible. It has all become clear.
Of course I've now figured out that giraffes must have originally been deep water creatures as well. Back in olden times, perhaps the 1950s, they must have swum around in deepish water and done the whole swan thing, sticking their head and long neck down as deep as possible to forage for food. Over the last fifty or so years they've evolved into the land dwellers that we know and love and can now grab stuff from tall trees.
I just thought I'd pass that on to you, you know how I like to impart knowledge.
Happy Monday out there.