When the Observer began their chronical of the Longboat swans, I was asked, besides Alan Stone's George and Gracie, about the names of the others. Being such a black-and-white person, I was a bit reluctant to personalize these wild birds. Well, I gave in, and named the pair nearest my home Stan and Wendy, set the rules on how others would be named, and the rest is history.
Stan was a straight arrow, strong and resolute, protective and predictable. He weathered an infection in 2014, coming back from a poor state of health. A similar infection now in 2015, it was caught early, and gave me hope that Stan's chances of coming back would be pretty good.
That feeling of rehab success bouyed me right up to the morning of his return: but I thought I would just call to ensure he was ready for picking-up. That phone call took me off my feet; he passed early that morning. How did his condition go off the cliff so fast? That the swans are animals living and dying in the wild environs offered no solace. Stan, I'll give my best efforts to Wendy and your three cygnets. RIP!