Feb 20 2013 By Natasha Gorbert-Hopkins
... the story continues. It was a warm, sunny day when I met my arch enemy. I wasn’t uncomfortable, waiting patiently on the path for The Swan to decide she wanted to move, but equally I felt ridiculously waiting for her to move out of my way.
By this time, my friend Sam had got the bus down to Cowley, and was laughing at me from the other side of the canal. I think she took a photograph.
The Swan hunched resolutely on the bank, hissing loudly at me whenever I took a step closer. Walking behind her would have meant coming within close range of both her beak and her wings, and I didn’t want to risk injury.
I could think of only one solution.
“Sam!”, I called over the water, “I’m going to go and get the canoe!”
I trudged back up the towpath towards my boat and headed up the bank to where my mum stored a couple of cheap old kayaks that we had been given.
I brushed off the dead leaves and spiders webs and heaved it out of the undergrowth. Dragging the white, plastic canoe down to the canal, paddle in hand, I took a deep breath.
Was I going to do this? Could I get in without falling in?
I pushed the boat into the water before gently stepping inside. I sat down, slid my legs in and picked up the paddle. Success!
I pushed away from the bank, dipped the paddle into the dirty water, and pulled out into the middle of the canal. Sam was now filming me as I canoed triumphantly past The Swan as she sat, like a malignant Ice Queen, on the bank.
Just as I got near the gate, I heard Sam shout: “Oh no!”. Turning my head to look behind me, my eyes widened in horror.
Coming towards me, diving out of the blue sky like an attack plane, was another swan, its wings wide and neck outstretched.
Luckily, it landed just in front of the kayak, kicking up water before swimming nonchalantly away.
I pulled into the bank, heaved myself up and dragged the canoe out of the water. Finally, having taken one last lingering glance down the bank, I left my mooring and headed into Uxbridge.