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January 3, 2019

A swan attacked and killed a grown man, on a pond in Illinois in 2012. The angry bird, which was nesting, tipped his kayak, then pummeled him as he tried in vain to reach the shore. His lifeless body was later recovered by divers.

I would have been only marginally less surprised if I had learned that someone was gored to death by a unicorn in Kansas.

Yet this is the world we inhabit. A place of great beauty, and great sadness, and often, where those two things meet, great humor.

My daughter and I were chatting recently, when she mentioned the ubiquitous “bad guys” in movies and books.


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