Ollie’s Mexican standoff.

Today has been miserable in Beetley. If you didn’t have a calendar, you could be forgiven for not realising it is August, as it is more like March. The day started wet and grey, and stayed that way. It was even chilly enough for me to need a coat when I went out with Ollie. (Though I still wore shorts)

The grass was wet over on The Meadows, but luckily the rain had not been heavy enough to bring back the mud. I wandered around for a while, but my heart wasn’t in it, and I headed over to Hoe Rough to give Ollie more to explore. Nobody was about, and there were no other dogs for him to sniff, or to run around with. One of those days when I could happily have headed home, and written off the walk as just another dull trek without inspiration.

After just over an hour, Ollie made his way to the path that runs alongside the river. I guessed that he had warmed up enough to need a refreshing dip, and a long drink too. He scrambled down the bank into the water, and I took position against the wire fence nearby. He walked around in the water for a bit, exploring over to The Meadows just in case any other dogs had appeared. Seeing nothing, he just stood in the water up to his belly, looking more than a little fed up.

Suddenly, three swans glided gracefully around the bend. A large male, a smaller female, and another that seemed to me to be the offspring of the pair, tagging along behind. Seeing Ollie, they stopped dead, less than six feet away from him. He stood and looked, and they looked back. He made no attempt to approach them, even though he was obviously interested and watching them intently. The male flapped its considerable wings, but my dog remained unimpressed. I thought that they would turn back, and that would be it.

Ollie looked across to me on the bank, and back at the three birds again. He wasn’t going to move, that was certain. I smiled to myself, wondering how this dog and swan version of the traditional Mexican standoff would end. He was outnumbered three to one, but seemed unconcerned by the weight of numbers. The male swan emitted a strange noise, and flapped again. Ollie had a small drink, and carried on staring. They had one route to get past him, close to the other bank, and separated by a large clump of weed. The male swan checked this out, and as he moved, Ollie suddenly ran through the water after him.

With a raucous honking and flapping of wings, the big bird crashed past the dog, finding sanctuary behind him though still just a few feet away. The smaller swans were making squeaky noises, apparently calling to the male. When he didn’t return to help, they took their chances by using the same route. Ollie let them go. He was never going to hurt them in the first place.

But he wasn’t about to give ground to them either.

31 thoughts on “Ollie’s Mexican standoff.

  1. Good for Ollie! I have some friends staying with me, and they brought their three dogs (labradoodles) and we’ve had a few adventures of our own. Yesterday we were talking about geese, but you’re right about swans. Ollie is a true gentleman but won’t take nonsense. πŸ™‚


  2. I, too, wondered who the Mexicans might be. Great title and a good story beautifully told!

    (Sorry to hear about the rain. I had to water the veg patch again this morning because it seems to have abandoned the SW. Are you sure you don’t have some kind of rain magnet over there?)


    1. Ros, I have no doubt that Beetley has a micro-climate of near permanent rain. It is supposed to be hot at the weekend though…
      Glad you liked Ollie’s adventure.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  3. I read the title of your post before embarking on the washing up which left me wondering what had happened to Ollie. First of all I wondered where the expression Mexican standoff came from and vowed to check the web for answers, then it occurred to me that Ollie had encountered a Chihuahua, believing them to be of Mexican origin (something else to check). Washing up finished and the mystery is revealed, swans!
    I had to check the spelling of Chihuahua, which in turn confirmed my belief that they are a Mexican breed πŸ™‚


    1. Is this what you found, Eddy?

      ‘A Mexican standoff is a confrontation between two or more parties in which no participant can proceed or retreat without being exposed to danger. As a result, all participants need to maintain the strategic tension, which remains unresolved until some outside event makes it possible to resolve it.’

      It’s not exactly what happened, but either the swans or Ollie could have been injured, I suppose.

      Glad you liked it mate.
      Cheers, Pete.


      1. You know I forgot to look πŸ™‚ But I wondered were the expression came from and now I have checked Wiki it appears the origins are debatable, although the American \ Mexican war seems the most plausible. Cheers!


  4. Pete, I can almost see this stand off between Ollie and the Swans… Your words were perfect in its description of your walk a bout….Take care, Laura… p.s. I’m heading back to your yesterdays post and continue listening to the tunes.. Have a great evening across the pond….


  5. As Proust would say, if my memory serves me correctly, “If you’re going to dip yourself in the river, like a madeleine cake in tea, at least try to stay out of those…swans’ way!”


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