Case Closed: The Case of the Missing Swallow Nests


Sad remnants of the swallows nests still remain in the 400s hall overhang.

Elena Wasserman and Cameron White

It was a cold and gray Wednesday morning, and a light breeze moved through the air. The Mirador room was dark, and the sound of keyboard strikes and mouse clicks filled the room. There had been talk of killer swallows nesting within our very school, occasionally swooping down to warn students not to get too close to their homes made of mud. With this news spreading throughout the school, Mirador realized that it was time, once again, to solve another of Miramonte High School’s great mysteries.

This new assignment took us to the 400s hall, where students learn about subjects ranging from history to psychology, from government to journalism. After inspecting the building closely, it was apparent that many of the nests were missing. Where had they gone? Had they been removed? We had more and more questions, but still no answers.

Our search brought us to Associate Principal Jan Carlson with our most pressing question: “Where had the swallow’s nests gone?” Thickening the plot, Carlson replied, “The school is not allowed to touch those nests. It would be wrong of us to do so.”

Confused and curious, we checked where the nests had previously been one more time. Something was there that we hadn’t spotted before…but could it be true? Did one nest remain? It did indeed, because there before our eyes was a hidden swallows’ nest.

Frustrated and craving more answers, we went directly to the big man with all the answers, District Maintenance Director Steve Fishbaugh. After we asked the same question about the swallows, he responded with a strangely similar reply. Fishbaugh said, “We don’t touch nests or disturb them in any way. You might check with your site administration.”

With no more information than we had before, we had completed a full circle and were back to where we had started. At this point it was clear, we weren’t going to obtain any information from the school management. It was time to ask the teachers and students for insight on what had happened to the swallows. We decided to go on location, and search for answers at the source.

In our search we came upon popular US History teacher and men’s water polo coach James Lathrop. When asked about the swallows, he didn’t seem to recall any swallows in the 400s hall but he had a lot to say about the swallows on the pool deck. “They left a terrible mess on the pool deck,” said Lathrop.

Hoping to find some answers from our fellow students, we searched the halls, and asked as many students as we could find if they knew anything about the nests in the 400s hall. After receiving many variations of the same answer, “No.” We were at a loss. How could nobody know about these nests?

After days of asking questions, and receiving no answers, it was time for our investigation to come to a close. We had made the long journey from the Mirador room to the 400s hall countless times, and couldn’t do it again. Contemplating the mystery that would never be solved, we took our leave, and walked off into the sunset.