The Seventh Day of Christmas – Seven Swans a Swimming

Day 7 – Seven Swans a Swimming

So I asked “Lightning” what should we do for Seven Swans a Swimming.  Her response:  “Invite seven friends over to go swimming”.  No, it is 50 degrees outside.

Swans are one of those animals I admire. When swans mate, they mate for life (other than if there is nesting issue). They are often used as a symbol of fidelity or love because of this trait.   Let’s look at  swans effect on our culture.

I think everyone’s first introduction to swans is probably through the story,  “The Ugly Duckling”.  Here is a link to a great website where the book is read to you with a video being shown.

In Greek mythology Zeus disguised himself as a swan.  Have the older kids look up why he did this and what occurred as a result. (Hint:  Helen of Troy was born).  Apollo is also seen in a chariot pulled by swans in greek mythology.  The younger kids can draw a chariot pulled by swans.

The are also some terms that we have as a result of swans, to wit:  Swan Song – this is a reference to the silent Mute Swan,that upon death the swan would sing beautifully, hence it’s last song.

This phrase now refers to a final act or gesture.  This comes from Aesop’s Fable, The Swan Mistaken as a Goose or The Swan and the Goose:

A wealthy man bought  a Goose and a Swan. He fed the goose for his table and kept the swan for its song. When the time came for killing the Goose  it was dark and the swan and goose were indistinguishable.  By mistake he caught the Swan instead of the Goose. The Swan, threatened with death, burst  into song and his identity was then made know and his life was saved by his song.

Another phrase that is a result of a swan is “a good woman is a rare bird”, refers to the rareness of a black swan.  The bird was actually hunted to extinction in New Zealand but then later reintroduced.  The black swan is found in certain parts of Australia.


A fun exercise, that I have actually done before with my daughter is give or have them come up with a few metaphors and then draw pictures of the metaphors, for the older kids have them come up with some metaphors, maybe using geese in their metaphor. Review of the difference between a metaphor and simile might be needed.  Remember, metaphor is the broader term and similes usually refer to a comparison using the word “like”.

Some commons metaphors are:

It is raining cats and dogs

She is the apple of my eye

He has a heart of gold

The noise is music to her ears

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *