The Birds


The three of us were enjoying some beach time.  We got a little hungry around noon.  Because we are amazingly well-organized, we had brought along a box of crackers, some Colby cheese, some peanut butter.  We even stopped and bought a cheap knife on the way to the beach so we could slice the cheese. We each had a bottle of water, and we figured we were good to go.

Davina pulled the crackers, cheese, and knife out of her bag. She handed the cheese to Deb, who set to work making tidy, neat little slices. Deb is your consummate hostess.  She wondered what she could use for a cutting board. I’m actually surprised that she didn’t put the cheese slices in a pretty little swirl on a paper towel for each of us 🙂

Good thing she didn’t.  While Davina was crackling the cracker wrapper, and Deb was slicing cheese,  the foraging scout for The Mob came around and cocked his beady little eyes at us.

Then he signalled his buddies. “Squawk!  Food!!  Right here! Right here!”duck the gulls

A whole flock of his closest relatives dropped on us like an open bag of feathers, swooping down from the front and the back and practically sitting in our laps, looking for a handout. One of them grabbed a cracker right out of Davina’s hand, and when she hollered, the gulls jumped and took two steps away from us.

“Crazy ladies, guys. Gotta be careful. One has a knife.”

They never took their eyes off of us.  They watched intently while, using a backhanded technique, we passed cheese and crackers, then peanut butter crackers, back and forth to each other. Deb hid behind her magazine to eat, and I cupped my snacks in my hands. Still they watched. . .waiting. . .knowing. . . and yet–they were too birdbrained to figure out exactly what was going on. hiding

Slowly, they began to move away. They hadn’t found the fabulous feeding grounds they’d been expecting.  But one stayed back, standing maybe three feet away, never taking his eyes away from our hands and faces.

“Davina, give me a couple of crackers,” I said. “Let’s see if we can get them to come back.”  I held the crackers between  my thumb and pointer fingers, as high up as my arm would go. gulls

I have very short arms.

Then we waited maybe two seconds before the mob re-gathered, clamoring for whatever they could grab.

They reminded me of the gulls in Finding Nemo.  “Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!

Whoosh!  A big ugly dude grabbed the cracker out of my fingers, and the rest of the birds sat there looking at me.

“So, is that all ya got, lady? None for the rest of us?  Come on, that’s not fair!  Where’s ours? Huh? Huh??”

Eventually they moved off to greener pastures, but the sentry stayed with us for a while. He was not happy. He kept shaking his head at me. sentinel gull

Deb and Davina took a walk, leaving me alone with my jailer.  He kept hopping up closer, closer, trying to see if I still held anything on my lap.

I think I’ll have nightmares tonight.


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