Legends of Saints and Birds – Saint Comgall

Hear the tale of one Comgall, an Irishman, how he and his monks were one day walking by the side of a lake. On the lake were some swans; and when the monks saw them, they asked Comgall whether they might try to get the birds to come to them.

Comgall gave them leave, so they felt for some crusts of bread to throw on to the water. But having none, they called to the birds. Yet farther away floated the swans, heeding them not. Then the monks turned to Comgall.

“Father, if thou callest to them, perchance they will come,” said they. Therefore, being asked, Comgall called, and the swans came to him. Nay, one even fluttered to his lap and let him stroke its soft white feathers. And that is the tale of Comgall and the swans.

– taken from Legends of Saints and Birds by Agnes Aubrey Hilton