Julia: Two-Headed Swallow

Julia Genesis’ two-headed swallow tattoo was done by Andy Reach of Providence Tattoo. Her tattoo is so interesting that I couldn’t wait to hear the story behind it and what she explained was so fascinating that I can hardly do justice to it, but I will try my best.

“Looking up close like this, it actually seems like each swallow – are they two? Or one? – has a different personality. It’s wild!” I said as I was photographing.

“Yes, each is different. The one on the left, [name omitted], is curious and very sweet. [Name omitted], on the right, is more reserved and moody. Andy worked extremely hard to capture it. With an American Traditional style, it’s not a realistic depiction, but I was happy with the way he got that in there subtly.”

“Capture it? Wait… So, you’re telling me that Andy was working from a real-life photo of a two-headed swallow?”

“Well, yes. Mine.”

“That’s, like, totally incredible! You have a two-headed swallow! How does that even exist?”

“Yes, I do. They’re very rare. They don’t survive in the wild for long. They have difficulty flying when the other chicks start, if they can fly at all. I found mine abandoned in a swallow’s nest. It was starving. I took it home and cared for it. It survived against incredible odds.”

“That’s amazing. I’ve never heard about anything like this happening—

“You wouldn’t. I don’t go out of my way to show it off. It’s not going to become any kind of freak show attraction or medical marvel that gets dissected and analyzed. There are things in this world that need our protection.”

“Yes,” I said, and I thought about that for a few moments. “There are.”

“There are,” Julia nodded.