I'll grant you this guy doesn't look like royalty, but we were honored, a few days ago, when he decided to stop in our backyard. Only occasionally had we seen bald eagles out back before, mostly from a distance; although earlier in the week, I caught a glimpse of one sailing effortlessly over our house in true bald eagle grandeur. This member of the royal family came in low, landed effortlessly, and honored us with his presence. Acted like a king, I suppose--didn't do a thing, just sat there and ruled.
And then, behold, there was another, this one unhooded. Somewhere along the line I remember hearing they don't get bald--which is to say they don't get that perfectly regal white head--for five years. Took me longer, but that's not the story. This one was a prince.
Or princess. I didn't ask about gender. Perhaps someone else knows. But if they behaved like king and queen, it was Henry the Eighth and Ann Boleyn, the backyard no peaceable kingdom. Didn't take long, and they were at each other.
Rather adamantly, in fact. Downright hostile they were. Look at 'em. It wasn't pretty. Such American royalty may take your breath away, but they're not one bit nice.
No peace pipes, no parleys, no niceties. It was every man (or woman) for him or herself, social Darwinism in the court right there in our backyard. Disappointing really. I'd have preferred to think that the U. S. of A's great national symbols could behave better than Presidential candidates. Nope.
I had the biggest beast of a lens I own on my camera, and I was shooting away when finally the royal family all took off to the river's edge. All told, I snapped a couple dozen shots, so I start pulling them up on the back of the camera, when--viola!--I discovered the source of all the fuss.
One less bunny to raid our garden next summer. It was nothing more than a food fight.
I don't know who ended up with it in his or her stomach, but there it is, or was, in the mighty talons of one huge bird.
Nothing majestic about it. When they sail on unseen winds above, they're majestic. When they're bickering they're junkyard dogs in feathers and fancy white hoods. Just another Lord of the Flies, this one in our backyard.
When all the pomp and circumstance was over, my wife and I lectured our sleepy cat, told him if he didn't behave we'd throw him out behind the house.
He just look up and yawned. He too thinks he's royalty.