It must be said that there are many FAR WORSE crimes than swan importation that carry lesser penalties and fines. In this respect, the law in WA State has some backwards elements.
“We Failed Prince– The State Says Prince Cannot Have a New Mate”
“The Princess Express” by Israeli artist Kukula
I am sorry, Prince. We have failed you– and Princess, or any Princess, for that matter, will never be coming back.
Bill sent everyone a very disappointing email. The two senate committee heads decided that our swan bill, #6625, wouldn’t even make it out of committee for deliberation by the House. The bill was killed right there on the Senate Committee floor and we had no say in it.
Prince Comes Within a Couple Inches of My Camera to Say “Hello”
We contacted Senator Seaquist and he said he’ll sponsor our bill again next year. But, that’s another year of waiting, and it’s still no guarantee of a mate for Prince at the end of it.
Many have asked why we don’t just bring a swan on to the lake, and if anyone questions us, we just say it flew in.
Even if we wanted to do that, it would be very risky. If we were to illegally acquire a swan, we could be looking at up to 10 years in prison as well as a $5,000 fine.
Prince Takes Slices of Bread Off of My Dock
We have been working for over two years now, and this feels like a major set-back. But, what’s even more painful is that Prince is living a very solitary and lonely existence.
He’s 25 years old, and he may be one of the oldest Mute Swans ever to have lived. But, Prince is in excellent health and he’s very well-cared for by Glenda and myself. He still has a few years of life in his old bones.
Prince Swims Past My Rowboat Just After Sunset
When Princess was alive, the two swans always glided through the water, side by side. They were always there waiting for breakfast and dinner. You rarely saw one swan without the other– they were quite attached.
Every time I look out on the lake and see Prince aimlessly swimming around, my heart sinks. Knowing these are social animals that are hard-wired to live in pairs, I can’t image what he thinks as he glides along the lake every day alone.
It’s true that Glenda and I keep him company, and it’s true he loves us, but we can’t provide the companionship he needs. Even if I sat out there 24 hours a day with him, I am still a human, and though I am better than nothing, I am hardly a replacement for his own species.
And I am sure that he sorely misses Princess and he surely misses being part of a pair.
Prince Glides Off in the Darkness, Headed Toward His Bed of Reeds
Prince, I am sorry that we have failed you this time, but we will continue with pursuing a legal acquisition of a new friend for you. We are dedicated to this fact so that you won’t have to one day die all alone, on your soft bed of reeds.
But, Prince, always know that when that day comes, you will be able to come to me, just as Princess did. And I promise you won’t be alone, and that many warm blankets and a pair of arms will be waiting for you. We promise to take care of you until that day comes, and do everything in our power to make sure you spend your last years in happiness.
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