Foreign News: Swan Battalion

Three hundred pure white swans, fat, sluggard, stupid, sacred to the Hindu God Brahma, have been carried immemorially as a heavy and increasing charge on the budget of Jammu & Kashmir, famed Indian dual realm.

For the swan battalion a guard of 600 soldiers has been maintained, with swan-priests and swan-caretakers swelling the number of swan-attendants to 1,043. Daily these pampered birds waddled forth, led by a cream-colored First Swan, between lines of soldiers. For an hour the road along which the swans waddled was blocked to other traffic. Then they waddled into...

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