UA-76843172-1

The Jaws of Millersville: Miller the Swan

Pictured is one of the swans just swimming. (Photo courtesy to Millersville University.)

Alexander Bershtein

Staff Writer

On April 13th some students decided to have a picnic by the Millersville University pond. They had recently come from a rehearsal for the benefit concert that would occur later that afternoon. All of them were still in uniform as they went towards the pond with their lunch.

The students decided to settle beside the gazebo. One of them, Kayla Smith, was sitting on the rocky edge gazing at the water, and got scared by a bee that flew by. Her sunglasses fell off her head and she tried to grasp them only to fumble with them for second before they plopped into the pond.

For a time, the students tried to see where the sunglasses fell, and tried to assess the depth of the pond. At first, the students got branches that were laying by nearby tried and tried to fish the sunglasses out. One of their groups, Benjamin Thomas Fritz, had goggles in his car and went to get them. After sticking his head into the water, and not finding them, they called the campus police.

Officer Sweda was sent to help them, and told them that the best they could do is have someone get into the water and feel around for the sunglasses. The officers left and Mr. Fritz explained that they told them not to worry if someone reported that students were swimming in the pond, and wished them good luck.

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After the concert ended the students went back to the pond to get the sunglasses. Mr. Fritz volunteered to be the one to get the sunglasses, as he noticed Ms. Smith was still in her dress from the concert. Mr. Fritz took off his shirt and slowly stepped off the shore into the cold water.   After crouching and bending over beneath the shallow waters a few times only to find no sunglasses. Soon after, his friend Trent Soto came in, and after Mr. Fritz came up for air a second time their friends began yelling “The Swan is coming!” and “Get out!”

Mr. Fritz got out as Miller the Swan approached. From the water’s edge the students watched as the swan slowly and silently glided by with an eye gazing at them as it paralleled the shoreline. Some of the students began to bait it, and led it away from Mr. Fritz and Mr. Soto and to the bridge that split the pond in half.

Once some distance was made between Miller the Swan and those by the gazebo, Mr. Fritz got back in. Mr. Soto put his foot into the water, but within mere seconds took it back out because Miller the Swan was bee-lining back towards them from the bridge. Mr. Fritz raised his head above the surface of the water and heard his friend’s beckoning. He took a quick glance at Miller the Swan, and shimmied out of the water onto the shore as Miller the Swan’s sleek and calm movement lost composure. With wings displayed and waving erratically, Miller the Swan flew at Mr. Fritz with a stream line of white waves moving in many directions. Mr. Fritz got onto shore before Miller the Swan hit him by seconds. After this the students did not make another attempt.

Although word has gone around that sunglasses were indefinitely claimed by Miller the Swan, the sunglasses were retrieved from the pond’s shallows. On the following Monday Officer Sweda brought his son’s fishing net and went down to the pond. He fiddled with it at the pond’s edge and was able to find the sunglasses, which were finally returned from Miller’s territory back into the possession of Kayla Smith.