She didn’t give a flock.
A maid-of-honor in Stroud, England, dove into a lake in her bridesmaid dress to save a gosling from a swan that was trying to drown it.
Photographer Rosie Hardy was shooting formal portraits of Hannah West and Mark Jefferies after their wedding at Dumbleton Hall on May 7. The wedding party was posing in front of an idyllic lake when Hardy noticed something horrific happening in the water.
“Since I was facing the lake, I managed to see the whole thing go down,” Hardy told The Huffington Post. “At first there was horrendous squawking from the parent geese, followed by lots of splashing.”
Then she noticed that a black swan had snatched a baby gosling from its parents. The swan had its beak around the gosling’s neck and was trying to down it.
“There was no way I was going to be able to keep taking the photos and pretend it wasn't happening!” she said.
Thankfully the bride’s sister, Faye West, kicked off her heels and flew into action.
“I had shouted ‘Can someone do something!?’ I assumed maybe one of the guests would get a stick and scare it before it was too late. But by the time I had looked around to see if anyone was close enough to help, Faye was pretty much already in the lake,” Hardy said.
Faye frightened off the swan, took the gosling into her hands and returned it to its mother goose.
Hardy posted the photos, and the story to Facebook the next day and ever since, the post has been liked over 3,500 times:
Many people believe that once a human touches a wild baby bird that its mom will abandon it, but that theory is actually for the birds.
"If a bird's nest is disturbed by a potential predator during the nesting or egg-laying stage, there's a possibility that [it] will desert and re-nest." Frank B. Gill, former president of the American Ornithologists' Union, told Scientific America. "However, once the young are hatched and feeding, [their parents are] by and large pretty tenacious."
As for Faye, that bit of folklore was far from her mind while she was knee-deep in water, saving the baby bird from a fowl swan.
“When a bridesmaid ends up in a lake it's usually not a great sign at a wedding,” Hardy said. “But afterwards everyone was cheering. Faye was welcomed back a hero!”