where will they live?

inspired by this post

a while ago i wrote this as a thank you to someone who was very kind, and helped me out when i was in a tough spot. they were nice enough to give me permission to share it with all of you, so -

a fish may love a bird, but where will they live?

~

when runhilda was just a hatchling, a little boy with big eyes fed her bread and called her pretty even before she was. he always had bruises on his face and arms, and his clothes hung off him, but he always had soft words for her, always gave her his bread crusts even though he needed them more than she did.

when runhilda is older, and goes by runa, she throws off her coat of feathers and steps from the river onto the land. she towers over the teenage boy, stretching past six feet with flowing white-blonde hair and her arms and thighs like tree trunks. “you need this more than i do,” she tells him generously.

he looks on in confusion as she takes her coat of feathers and wraps it around his shoulders. he transforms into graceful, powerful swan. he transforms into a something that can fly away from his miserable life.

“give it back to me one day,” she says, “when you don’t need it anymore.”

she pats him on the head, and he gently nips her hand before he opens his wings and takes to the sky.

runa watches him go wistfully. she’ll miss her wings, but she’s never had legs before and she’s eager to take them for a spin.

~

she tracks down the boy’s mother who’d been so cruel to him, and no one is ever ready for a giant naked woman to burst into their pub and start yelling at them, but runa still thinks she screamed too much. she’d threatened the woman with everything from a sound beating to dire legal action, and she and her husband leave town with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

this has worked out for runa nicely. she thinks running a pub could be fun. she goes upstairs, and none of the tiny woman’s ridiculous clothes will fit her, obviously, so she goes through the husband’s closet. she thinks she looks rather dashing in trousers and suspenders and a crisp white button up. she puts a newsboy cap over her curly mass of hair for good measure, and winks at herself in the mirror. this being human thing is off to an excellent start.

then she goes downstairs and realizes she’s scared off the staff and patrons. the patrons she’s not too worried about this. this is dublin, and no one even died. as long as the alcohol keeps flowing, they’ll be back.

as for the staff ….

she goes to the river and recruits as many curious sisters as she can. she walks back to her pub with her arms laden with feather coats and a dozen gorgeous naked women all as tall as she is trailing behind her.

excellent.

~

the seamstress adores them, since most of her sisters prefer the pretty, full bodied dresses that many of the human women wear, and they all have to be custom made to fit their large shoulders and thick waists. runa sticks to her trousers and shirts, and acquires a collection of newsboy hats.

her pub quickly gains a reputation, as it should. it’s staffed by beautiful women who have no problem with ending a bar fight personally, and physically throwing the offenders on to the street. there’s a strict look, but don’t touch policy that all of the patrons take advantage of, running their eyes over the beautiful barmaids. of course, quite a few human men and women catch her sisters’ eyes, and more than one dazed and pleased human has left their pub half dressed in the mornings.

no one catches runa’s attentions, until a slim woman with dark skin and dark eyes takes a corner table in the pub. she’s in an opulent grey dress, and her hair is carefully pinned into an elegant style, with a glittering necklace around her throat. no woman as wealthy as this one should be in runa’s establishment, or if she is she shouldn’t look miserable about it.

“here,” her sister pushes two mugs full to the brim into her hands. runa glares at her, but she’s already turned away. she resents the implication that she’s that transparent.

she still walks over to the woman and sits across from her, pressing the drink into her hands. she looks startled, but not upset, so runa leans her elbow halfway across the table and asks, “What’s a pretty girl like you doing in a place like this?”

she smiles back, but it doesn’t reach her eyes. runa’s filled with a determination to have her smile like she means it.

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St Hugh of Lincoln is often depicted with a swan, because he was friends with a swan. The swan would follow Hugh around, eat from his hand, and reputedly attacked people who threatened his saintly human BFF. For this reason, the best pictures of St Hugh are the ones where the swan looks like it’s about to fuck you up. Like, massively.

MESS WITH ST HUGH AND HIS SWAN WILL END YOU.

The Great Flamingo Uprising

(Edited after additional information was obtained from zookeeping cousin)

I told this story to a few guildies a while back and decided to archive it in a longer format; so here is the story of The Great Flamingo Uprising of 2010 as told to me by my favorite cousin who was a keeper at the time.

In addition to the aviary/jungle exhibit, our zoo has several species of birds that pretty much have the run of the place.  They started with a small flock of flamingos and some free-range peacocks that I’m almost certain came from my old piano teacher’s farm.  She preferred them to chickens.  At some point in time they also acquired a pair of white swans (“hellbirds”) and some ornamental asian duckies to decorate the pond next to the picnic area.  Pigeons, crows, assorted ducks and a large number of opportunistic Canada geese moved in on their own. 

Now; the ponds that dot the zoo property (I don’t remember how many there are but the one by the picnic area is the only one with swans) were also full of ginormous koi fish, some of whom by now are at least three feet long.  Sensing an opportunity to cash in on the koi, the zoo put up little vending machines all over the place that dispense handfuls of food pellets.  I swear to god the fish can hear the crank turning, and will show up at the nearest railing, blooping expectantly at whoever happens to be standing there and doing their best to appear starving and desperate. 

Like this.^  And they weren’t the only ones who learned to associate the sound with the imminent arrival of food.  The Canada geese knew a good deal when they saw one, and had long since ceased to migrate anyway.  They formed roving gangs of thug-geese and staked out their turf around the vending machines, ready to mug anyone with pocket change.  Picture yourself as a small child squaring off with a bird as big as you are fully prepared to strip search you while standing on your feet and yelling “HWAAAAAKK!!” in your face.  It’s deeply traumatizing to you and incredibly hilarious to your parents.

Anyway.

The flamingos had their spot near the zoo entrance and never seemed to mind the presence of the other birds, as they kept themselves to themselves and didn’t really like the taste of fish pellets.  The problem lay in that their shrimp pond was close to a vending machine.  Ordinarily that wouldn’t have been an issue at all, but eventually the goose population grew large enough that one of the gangs decided to annex it.  Being territorial little shits, they would harass the poor flamingos any time they strayed within ten feet of it.  The flamingos tolerated this for years until one day they snapped collectively.  Here’s a summary of the incident in chronological order.

1.) It was a hot day, so everyone in question both human and avian, were cranky by the time the zoo even opened.
2.) A few flamingos (let’s call them The Jets) strayed into the radius of the vending machine and were immediately confronted by the indignant hissing geese (The Sharks)
3.) Possibly due to heat and the simple fact that the geese had been giant douchebags for far too long, the flamingos decided fuck it, this time they were going to FIGHT BACK DAMMIT, and swarmed the geese en masse.
4.) Chaos ensued.  The geese were outnumbered 4 to 1 but had the advantage of being able to scream for back-up. 
5.) Hearing the shrieking Canada geese and the bellowing of the enraged flamingos, the peacocks came to the conclusion that the apocalypse had come upon them and began to gather in the surrounding trees in droves and wail in despair.  Or cheer them on, whichever.
6.) NOISE
7.) Apparently one of the siege tactics employed by geese is to shit explosively all over everything.
8.) The geese, having secured reinforcements from all over the zoo, went berserk and proceeded to attack EVERYBODY who had come to watch be they human or otherwise.
9.) The flamingos were chasing/being chased by the geese through the crowd accompanied by cheers/wails from the peacocks in the box seats.
10.) Complete pandemonium when the zoo tram became stalled by the flamingo pond due to battling birds.  The Jets, sensing these were somehow reinforcements on the side of the Sharks, charged the tram.  Adults were doing the duck and cover.  Small children were screaming, adding to the noise.  People were slipping on goose shit and hitting the ground in the fetal position, only to be stampeded by the rampaging flamingos.
11.) The koi continued to bloop hopefully for food.
12.) Two of the geese were cornered by a rival gang of their own and were chased into the swan pond.  Cue slow-motion.
13.) The swans detected an enemy presence in their territory and by god, SOMEBODY was going to PAY. 
14.) The staff were having no luck in breaking up the fight and on the verge of giving up and just building another zoo elsewhere when the hellbirds stormed the battlefield, trumpeting battle-cries, to dispense feathered justice.  The staff promptly dropped their brooms and fled.
15.) Birds scattered in all directions.  Up, down, sideways.  Some people not present in the park circle swear a couple of geese flat out teleported into the petting zoo. A few ducks vanished in the chaos, presumably eaten by the swans.
16.) Two of the zookeepers barricaded themselves in the snack bar and refused to come out. 
17.) The uprising was squashed in less than two minutes.  Number of casualties was unknown, feathers were flying everywhere and there was enough goose shit to build another bird.  One staff member had been knocked to the ground and was left with a melon sized bruise courtesy of one of the hellbirds.  Several children were traumatized, probably for life.  The zoo eventually removed the vending machine by the flamingos. 

The geese went back to being giant douchebags. Because geese*.

Addendum:  Somehow, my aunt D got hold of this story and posted a link along with the comment: “This sounds exactly like our zoo!” 
Zookeeping cousin replied: “This was exactly our zoo.”

*I’m really not kidding.  This is a photo, taken at our zoo, of a gorilla being chased by one of the thug geese.

anonymous asked:

What's the story behind swan lake?

swan lake starts out with the prince seigfried with his hilariously stupid name.

his mother is the queen of some unnamed kingdom, and on his birthday she not only gives him a crossbow, which is apparently common in quasi victorian times, but she also reminds him that since he is 21 and like an adult now that he needs to have some responsibilities. these include governing the kingdom and taking a wife, because you know, WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS.

so he’s all like “gosh mom okay whatever i get it” and goes out with some of his broskies to go hunting with his new crossbow. he goes running after some swan and gets separated from his buds. the swan actually morphs into a woman and she’s all like “damn son please don’t shoot me”

he’s all like “man girlfriend you so fine but you’re like half swan and that’s kind of weird what’s your story?”

she tells him that her name is odette and shes a princess turned into a swan by a vengeful sorcerer rothbart who apparently has nothing better to do than torture young ladies, and trapped her and her swan maidens on a lake made out of her mother’s tears and they’re all pretty upset about it

at this point there is a lot of dancing of the swans which is probably the most memorable and gorgeous part of the ballet, but has absolutely nothing to do with the story other than being like “damn these girls are swans”

she’s all like “hey the only way i can get to be a real human again and save all my swan lady sisters is for a man to fall in love with me and swear it to the world”

and despite having known her and danced with her for only like 20 minutes by now he’s all like “oh course ill do that for you bae, in fact my mom is having a ball tonight you should come we’ll do it then”

von rothbart, who is listening in, is all like “hell no am i letting my swan bbs go” and he starts to concoct a plan to fuck up their love swearing shindig

act three flashes forward to the next night, with the ball. seigfried’s queen mom has brought all these eligible princesses from neighboring kingdoms to try to egg him on like “please get married already.” all the princesses are of course into it because hey, cute prince, and they all try to do their best dancing for him to remind him that they are the most marry-able

they dance with their entourages in a lot of traditional dances, like the hungarian czardas, until BOOM INTERRUPTION

in busts odette, or who we think is odette, and some dude. turns out rothbart has used his magic to tranform his daughter odile to look like odette, but she is a black swan, instead of a white swan.

this sassy bitch dances with seigfried and he’s completely enraptured- he totally thinks this is the same swan lady from the other night. she’s such a boss ass bitch with her rad thirty two fouettes and her like mad gorgeousness that he is completely convinced that she is odette, and of course he goes in front of everyone to swear his motherfucking love TO THE WRONG GIRL

this is the terrible moment where we see odette frantically flying at the window, and he realizes THAT HE HAS MADE A GRAVE MISTAKE

odile and rothbart laugh it up and leave in a flash of smoke because they think that odette is now going to be a swan forever with her swan girlfriends and seigfried busts out to there to go look for her

he gets to the lake and odette is in tears, surrounded and protected by her flock, who don’t want to let this dude in. she listens to his plea and forgives him

then she decides that the only way to free her flock of swans is to kill herself, and she leaps off the cliff into the lake, drowning herself, despite the fact that SHE IS A BIRD AND SWAN CAN SWIM, and seigfried, unable to live without her and wracked with guilt, follows her and jumps to his death.

with the two’s selfless death and eternal love, the swans are freed from their bondage and rothbart dies, as we see their eternal souls floating over in the horizon.

(in some versions, the two promise o jump off the cliff and the romise in and off itself frees the swans so nobody has to die, and in some versions, they fight rothbart and kill him, and in other versions, only odette dies, so i can see how this might get confusing)

*shuts story book* and that’s the ballet of swan lake

anonymous asked:

Your swan story just made me think "What if a tiny 4'11 woman saw a transformed swan and was basically all 'please make me ripped too' and ended up building a house by the lake to be with her swan buds. And people keep passing by and thinking she's a swan in human form, and are not prepared for her friends when their wrong"

(I love this idea! I’m trying this new thing where I don’t write 5,000 words and don’t post because it doesn’t have an ending lol. So here’s a short one!)


“I’ll make her my wife!” Samuel declares, slamming his tankard on the bar. The men and women around him groan, but it’s his best friend Otis that speaks.

“You’ve said that everyday for the past week,” Otis says. “Maybe try talking to her first, huh?”

Samuel shakes his head so hard that his hair, tied up with a scrap of leather, comes undone. “We don’t need words. Our eyes met across the lake. The sun lit up her verdant eyes and–”

We fell in love instantly,” the pub choruses. The ladies in the back all take a shot, giggling at their incomprehensible game.

Samuel continues doggedly. “My mother married a frog, and I will marry myself a swan. Fairy tales run in my family, mate, you’ll see.”

“Sure, you drunk bastard,” Otis says and buys him another pint.

Samuel decides that tomorrow, tomorrow he’ll show them all.

——————————————————

“Good morning,” he calls from the fence line. He swipes his hat from his hand as the young woman turns and tries not to show his nerves. “L-lovely day we’re having, no?”

The young woman blinks at him. She’s small, thin arms and dainty feet with a long, lovely neck. This makes sense, of course, seeing that she is a swan in human form.

Samuel knows that at any moment, his love will invite him in, glad to finally have an excuse to be in his presence just as he is glad to be in hers. It is good that he knows this because the blood is pounding in his ears and he can hardly hear a thing over the thunder of his own heart.

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