Short Fiction: One of the flock

Image provided by Yogendra Singh at Pexels

My second family came to meet me, as they always do, with a cacophony of caws and a downpour of tatted white feathers. They may not be the most polite bunch, nor are they too adept at conversation. Sure, at some point in the day my thick brown coat will be adorned with another white dollop for the missus to scrub away. I can’t give them a handshake goodbye, but these hungry old seagulls are always here to greet me in the morning and see me off in the night.

Stepping down into the skiff with a wobble, I took the oars and pushed my way out from the port. Slicing the water as I went, the familiar tail of frantic flapping painted my course for the few onlookers on the bridge further on. I never knew how many spectators I would have on that bridge and that’s to assume I had any at all. Someone must have thought I was interesting though. My son came downstairs in a rush and showed me a video on his phone: ‘Seagulls ruin fisherman’s day’. They couldn’t have got it more wrong.

From the angle they saw the action it looked like the boat was being hounded and harassed by the birds. I don’t doubt that, again from that angle, the person misunderstood the situation based on the limited information his camera could retrieve. But still, the title irked me – as did the phrase ‘futile fishing future’ one commenter proudly published with an air of ‘daddy pays my phone bill’. This person filmed from only one perspective, led his audience with a biased title and now there are people calling for immediate action. When did we forget how to sleep on things?

These are my companions; non-judging ears for the plights of an old chatterbox. To call them anything but brought sorrow to my heart. Most likely that naive soul would never return to that bridge. The damage had been done.

Now my son tells me a petition has started to ‘cull the avian pests threatening our seabourne economy’. A load of inflated language to justify an act of mass killing with children signing at the bottom.

My wife says that those kind of things never do anything anyway. I hope she’s right.

Published by Owen Corkin

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