A Review/Rant on Swans by Will Kay

Posted on August 3, 2011


Too long have these foul—pun intended—creatures gotten away with their bad behaviour. What have swans done to inspire this ire in me?

The bevy, herd, wedge or eyrar of swans. Take your pick.

Well, recently as my friend and I were approaching an abnormally large group of swans, my friend asked, “What is the collective noun for swans?” We continued to walk towards the swans as I tried to remember (I was intent on remembering the name as it would have validated the hour or so I spent on Wikipedia looking up collective nouns, which I mention in a previous article). As we got closer, the swans started swarming towards us; hissing and snapping their beaks. It was at this stage I thought to myself that the collective noun for swans had to be a vulgarity of swans (for those interested there are varying reports of the collective noun for swans including bevy, wedge, herd and the more interesting eyrar).

Poor Japanese tourist.

Culturally, swans are lauded as pure monogamous creatures—which, according Wikipedia, isn’t exactly true; swans are cheating sluts. They are a royal animal and their consumption is illegal for everyone bar royalty. They feature on the coat of arms of Poland. The national bird of Finland is the Whooper Swan. But what is it about the swan that affords it all this adulation: its beauty. Now I am all for admiring beauty, but beauty untempered by other winning characteristics is tragic and repulsive.

Can’t you see the resemblance?!

Swans are like the vicious attractive girls at school who get away with horrible behaviour because their beauty affords it. So, if you liked those girls at school go ahead, like swans. But if, like me, you look back and wish you had called out those bitchy pretty girls—and goose-ugly even bitchier offsiders—stand up to the reverence of the foul swan and eat them.

Will Kay is You’re Dripping Egg’s Editor-at-large and co-creator. In his spare time, he writes about tumblr and Crystal Insects

Posted in: Animals