This is a true story. Ike told it to me some years ago.
Ike enjoyed watching his graceful swans. But he also enjoyed his children and was concerned that they not fall into the pond. So he built a fence to keep the children safe.
Things changed over the years. After the children had grown up, Ike decided to take the fence down to make mowing easier. Eventually the children grew up and moved off the farm. But one thing remained constant. Swans always swam the length and breadth of the pond. Ike never tired of watching them.
After the children had moved away, Ike slowly began to realize that he was not able to do all the work himself. The farm was eventually sold to a nephew. But the swans stayed on the pond.
After the nephew had moved onto the farm, Ike talked to him about the fence, “I usually kept a fence around the pond to keep the children out, but after they grew up, I tore it down to make it easier to mow. But you have small children, so you need to think about that.”
Time went on and the nephew did not build a fence. The swans swam on. The nephew’s wife would periodically check on the children when they played outside. The children were to play in the yard and the swans were to swim on the pond. It was how life was meant to be.
One day when the good wife checked on one of her little boys, she was alarmed to find him missing. She looked all around the house but failed to find him. She called his name, but he did not answer. She walked to the edge of the spacious yard and peered toward the pond. She thought she detected something at the water’s edge but was not certain what it was.
Quickly she hurried to the pond. When she came closer, her heart beat fast. Her little boy was at the very edge of the pond, ready to walk in, or fall in, as fate would have it. Afraid that her cry would scare him, she silently ran to the pond.
When the dear mother was within a few steps of the boy, she noticed something else that stopped her dead in her steps! She clutched her throat as she stared at the scene before her. The boy was at the very edge of the water, ready to fall into a wet grave—except for one thing.
One of the swans was standing in the shallow water directly in front of the small boy, its body raised above the water. Its wings were spread out on either side of the little fellow. The boy could not enter the water. Those wings were a wall in front of him. The swan had turned into an angel guarding the boy from drowning!
The mother snatched the little one out of the water, holding him tightly to her bosom. The swan swam away. It was how life was meant to be.