Jonathan Livingston

Considered the rat of the sky, or is that a pigeon?  Well certainly, if you live near the seaside, this bird is certainly as troublesome as a rat.   Screeching across the sky, like a wailing banshee. As loud as an airplane, enough to almost break the sound barrier.  Trying to steal food, attacking innocent holiday makers for their chips like greedy children at a birthday party.   Ganging up on other birds to scare them away, using brute force and ignorance.  The seagull is certainly a rowdy bully, with the power and weight behind it.  Leaving their large droppings behind, sometimes on an unsuspecting person’s head, if they are lucky.

But are we underestimating this bird, misjudging its abilities, assuming they are just a pest and not appreciating their strengths?

Seagulls mate for life, like Derby and Joan, together forever.  Taking turns in caring and feeding their chicks, fussing over their young, helicopter parents, hovering over them, lovingly.  The male seagull takes responsibility for the growing fledgling in groups, like a Daddy day care nursery.

The seagull is a one of the rarest animals, because they can drink sea water, eliminating the unwanted salt through glands above the eyes, crying crocodile tears full of saline.

They are clever enough to be able to tap the earth with their feet, simulating the sound of rain, which in turn attracts the worms to pop up, a sophisticated takeaway for seagulls.

Watching a seagull ride the thermals, gliding effortlessly through the skies, barely moving a wing, apparently just enjoying the ability to float seemingly   in purpose, is mesmerizing and compulsive.  We forgive you, seagull, for all your bad habits, you are indeed the king of the sky, a maestro of movement, a champion of coasting.

291 Words – Sandy Bryson






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