By Lisa Batten Kunkleman
An imperfect circle of dead fish littered the beach near the water’s edge. How sad. I asked another morning walker, “Do you think they were discarded by a surf-fisherman who was using them as bait?”
He lifted his brows while widening his eyes and said, “Either that or some sharks were out there having a good time.”
“I’ll go with my theory, but thanks for that,” I said as I smiled, turned, and continued my stroll. Beach walkers are such fun folks.
On my return trek toward my shady umbrella site, I could see from a distance, three seagulls enjoying a fish bait buffet. My smile flattened, as I witnessed a photographer get too close and off they flew. He took his camera and left. That’s what your zoom lens is for, Buddy.
I stayed back a ways and watched as one little white gull returned and snagged a bite, only to be scared away by a pack of runners pounding the sand. Poor little gull waded about eight feet away to wait out the traffic.
My mom would say, “Somebody left the gate open,” meaning traffic was heavy. Each time he got up the courage to move in for a taste, another runner zipped by. He retreated again to his safe spot in the shallow water.
I wanted to toss him a couple of slimy morsels but he would have flown for sure if I strode that close. The tide was going out but one rogue wave fell just barely far enough to pull back a few tiny, iridescent fish for him to snag and munch on. Nature ruled once again. The fish didn’t die in vain and the little gull had a lovely brunch. I wonder if his buddies were watching.