When I was a kid I drew wings on everything. That's what made me special. Every kids got something special about them. Kid brother of mine? He can whistle damn near any tune you ask him to perfectly.
No one knew why I drew the wings except me. It was 'cause of the Swan.

Everyday, as the sun rose a swan would fly out across the lake i could see from my bedroom window. Sometimes it would bask in the sunrise, other times it would fly around and skim along the water like somethin' from heaven.
It was damn near the most beautiful thing I ever seen
Damn near

Because of the swan I'd draw wings on damn near everything. Drew 'em on my shitty school art projects, drew 'em on the back of tests, even drew 'em on my wall a couple of times 'till my Mom caught me and gave me a good thrashing. But still, that's what everyone remembered. I was the kid who drew the wings. Might be a pilot someday.

Swan used to fly right up to my window sometimes. Like an angel, it'd sit there watching over me. I liked that. I figured it'd be good to have an angel. My Dad didn't have no angel 'cause he got shot a hunting accident and an angel wouldn't let that happen. My Mom? Her angel probably left on account of her bein' so mean to everyone. But I guess you can't blame a woman for bein' mean after she gone and lost her husband because of an accident.

I drew wings up until I was 15. By then I was pretty damn good. I might've been an artist if I hadn't been sent to fight in the second War. I guess that's how life is though. Can't plan too far ahead.

Anyway, when I was 15 I woke up early to see the Swan but he didn't show up. Instead I heard this loud crack like thunder 'cept I knew it was a gun. Someone had shot my swan and down went it's wings.

Few days later I was out in the middle of the lake rowing when I see something white shinin' in the sun. First I thought it was a peice of trash or somethin' but of course when i got closer it turned out to be the Swan.

So of course I had myself a good little cry out on the lake and spent a while looking at the swan.

I think sometimes what people don't realize is that just 'cause something is sad doesn't mean it ain't beautiful. That dead swan lying on the bottom of the lake? Most beautiful thing I ever seen even though it damn near broke my heart. It's real hard to explain. Sometimes things are so sad they're beautiful and they can break your heart just the same as a pretty girl can.

Now, people started asking why I didnt draw wings no more. I just shrugged and they thought I'd grown out or something. But I dont draw wings for a different reason.
I'm sure that that swan that hunter shot that cold morning of 1937 was no ordinary swan. It really was an angel. And 'cause that angel now lies at the bottom of the pool this world is one angel short so I gotta take it's place. What if someones Daddy don't come home 'cause we're all one angel short?

I stopped drawing wings 'cause the Swan is gone and I gotta start wearing them.

The End

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