The Well Mannered Seagull


My son Jeremy and I (he’s 20) took a day trip to a local beach called Long Beach, on Long Island, yesterday.  As we were leaving, we came upon what’s called a flock of seagulls.  (Recently, after visiting The Wild Bird Fund in NYC, we learned there is no such thing as a “seagull,” really. Herring Gull. Laughing Gull. Great black backed gull, etc. No “seagull.”)

I stopped and told my son I wanted to feed the gulls the remainder of my grilled cheese sandwich. We weren’t sure if this was a good idea but we went ahead. I started tearing off bits of it, and gulls were screaming, diving, swooping, catching pieces in mid air–the way they do.

My son took a piece of the sandwich and walked with determination to the edge of the flock, then he came back.

“There was a seagull standing at the very back, still, just waiting. I really wanted him to get a piece, so I went over to him and gave it to him, and he got it!”

I smiled, feeling momentarily relieved of near chronic heart ache.

I love the way my son thinks.

“You wanted to reward him for his excellent manners,” I said, and my son laughed a little.


Presumably his life as a seagull (sorry) is made very difficult when he is so polite.

We pondered this. Then Jeremy said:

“Well, just this once, he got the message that good things come to him from his patience.”  










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