Monday, October 17, 2016

Seal Of Disapproval

I learned something last week; seals are rather vindictive creatures!

While at the coast last weekend, my wife and I, along with our daughter and grandson, visited an aquarium. One of the features of this aquarium is they allow visitors to feed the seals. The food they provide is authentic seal food—otherwise known as fish.

My grandson was okay with handling the fish (much to his mother’s dismay) but after touching a particularly slimy one, he decided it would be best to let grandpa do the feeding. And that’s how I came to be standing beside a pool of ocean-like salt water tossing fish to a group of seals.

As one can imagine, the seals have discovered that performing tricks tends to get them more fish and they are quite active in this regard. They clap, stand on their tail fin, swim sideways and wave—anything to get attention.

I appreciated their efforts and felt compelled to reward them but I also wanted to distribute the food fairly. I didn’t want any of them left out, they might feel bad! So, after “paying” the most outgoing ones, I began concentrating on the few timid ones in the back. But one of the more active and agile seals thought he’d show me how well he could jump—and catch. As I lobbed a fish to the rear of the pool, he shot out of the water, snatching the fish out of the air, nearly out of the mouth of the seal I’d thrown it to.

Since I like to talk to animals as if they are people, I started scolding the fish thief. I told him he wasn’t very nice and taking another seal’s food wasn’t being fair. “You already had yours,” I said. “You’re a seal, not a pig.” And then I added, “You really need to learn to share.”

With one fish remaining, I stepped a little closer to the tank and, telling Mr. Fish Bandit it wasn’t for him, after a fake throw to the side, I threw it directly to the seal in the back. He caught it and then clapped for me.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself (yes, for outsmarting a seal—but hey, I’ve heard they are one of the most intelligent creatures) when I saw the fin on the seal who felt he’d been slighted come out of the water. Saw it go back. And then I saw it start moving forward. I knew what was coming but not soon enough to move out of the way of the big spray of water that shot toward me. And soaked me! Apparently, he hadn’t appreciated my lecture, or the fact that I hadn’t given him the last fish. I don’t know if seals can actually smirk or not but I’m fairly sure this one was!

Of course, my grandson thought it all was hilarious, as did his mother, along with my wife and a few other visitors who had been watching. Amid the laughter, I heard a little boy tell his dad, “You can feed them, I don’t want to get splashed.”

As we were leaving, people were still smiling when they saw the water dripping off of me. Yeah, I’m glad that getting drenched by a spiteful seal helped make everyone’s day! On the bright side, I didn’t have to add any salt to my food when we went out to eat later! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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