Germany's oddest couple — a black swan and a bird-shaped pedal-boat that has won its undying love — made a stately departure from a German lake a little over a week ago as winter approached.
Swan Peter — it has not been said whether the swan is male or female — has been stalking the boat, which has a 2-meter-high, white, fiberglass superstructure shaped like a swan, since the springtime on Aasee lake in the city of Muenster in northwest Germany. The pedal-boat can be hired by the hour.
Black swans are native to Australia but there is a small wild population in Europe, where animal protection groups feed both the black and white types during winter when lakes are frozen over.
Muenster City Zoo has offered to take in both Peter and its big "friend" for the winter months. The trip to the zoo, navigating along canals and streams, began Thursday Nov. 2 and took a week to complete with the pair arriving safely at the zoo on Nov. 9. Peter dutifully paddled alongside its big hero all the way there.
It is hoped the stay at the zoo may cure Peter's obsession: there are six black swans in the zoo collection.
"Four of them are unmated, so there's hope for Peter yet," said Monika Ewering, a zookeeper.
Park visitors said they had the impression that Peter's affection for the boat was lessening anyway. In recent weeks, the celebrity swan had spent less and less time trailing it and more and more time accepting food gifts from curious tourists at the side of the lake. (DPA)
1. stately adj.
威嚴的 (wei1 yan2 de5) ，隆重的 (long2 zhong4 de5)
例: He surveyed the crowd with a stately air.
2. navigate v.i./ v.t
導航 (dao3 hang2)
例: I'll drive; you can navigate. Okay?
3. dutifully adv.
盡職地 (jin4 zhi2 di5)
例: Every Sunday morning Zoe dutifully completes her share of the household chores.
4. obsession n.
著迷 (zhao2 mi2)
例: Emily's support of the Cardinals is bordering on obsession.