The affair began innocently enough, not in an oval office but right outside my window on an early-February morning a number of years ago.
There were witnesses, and a media representative--yours truly--was there to record it for posterity.
On that frosty morning, a young swan set out boldly to walk the winding country road and explore a world beyond his home in our neighbor's pond.
We heard the honking... not from the swan, but from motorists who tried to nudge the princely creature off the road to safety. Mister Swan was firm; the right-of-way was his, and he wasn't budging.
He did respond at last to my husband's clumsy efforts to herd him from the road, across our yard, and (hopefully) over the creek and back to his home.
The strategy might have been successful, had not the swan come face-to-face with our life-sized, realistic Canada-goose decoy that stood quietly at the walkway near our porch.
Mister Swan was smitten with Miss Canada. He promptly changed his travel plans and launched right then and there into a courtship dance; Miss Canada ignored him.
Love-struck, he marched around her, snuggled at her feet, did anything he could to win the lady's stony heart. She was not impressed, and he was not deterred; he wasn't going anywhere. He settled firmly down beside her and refused to move.
At last his owner arrived. With a large carton, a net and a lot of patient effort, the unhappy Romeo--(His name was really Joey, and he was a treasured pet)--was boxed and carried back to his solitary bachelor existence at the neighbor's pond.
In my journals on that February morning, as the Day of Valentines approached, I ended this true tale with the comment: "There may be another chapter."
But there never was.