The Seagull

I was walking along the boardwalk one sullen hazy day, and as I walked, I observed the seagulls gathering oysters, dropping them on the rocks below, then swooping down to consume their contents. I always enjoyed watching the seagulls do this. There was a stiff breeze that day, which smelt of salt water and dead fish. It always smelled like dead fish on the boardwalk. There were seagulls everywhere doing the exact same thing, except for one. This particular seagull would wait until another seagull was finished eating an oyster then would swoop down to feed on the remains. I watched in a stupor, as I could not understand why a seagull would act in this way. I had to know why.

Waiting until he swooped down again, I approached the seagull to inquire about his odd behavior. I asked him, "Why do you only feed on the remains others have left behind? Are you unable to fend for yourself?"

He stared at me with a blank look for several moments and then replied, "It is not that I am unable to fend for myself, it is just that I do not feel the need to destroy another if I can survive without doing so."

He then assumed we were done and continued eating. However, I felt inclined to explain things to him, "Regardless of what you do others will always die, people, plants and animals we are all in the same boat on this one. That's just how the world works. It's like clockwork, or the tiny grain of sand that gets trapped inside an oyster and eventually turns into a pearl, nothing will ever change it."

Again, the seagull just stared at me for a few moments. "My friend, are you saying that I should just give up on my beliefs because it's not going to change how the world works? That what I belief is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. My friend, it is not the world that refuses to change, it is people like you. You walk around and observe things happen, watch as the world passes you by, then you criticize others who are trying to change for the better. You say the world is like clockwork, however clocks often break, are fixed and improved. The world can be improved as well. You say it is like the tiny grain of sand that resides in the oyster, it will eventually turn into a pearl and nothing will ever change that undeniable fact. My friend not all oysters have a hidden treasure inside, some are empty. It seems like the word is empty sometimes, devoid of thought and caring. The world is an ever changing entity that you, I and everything and everyone else is a part of, and that my friend, will never change."

I ponder what he has just said for a long time. He waits for my reply. Apparently, I have pondered his words longer than I intended and the seagull, thinking I had nothing more to say, begins to fly away. However, I had one last question. As he began to take off I yelled, "You say its people like me who refuse to change that are part of the problem, what can I do to change?"

His response was quick this time, he simply said, "My friend change takes time, but for now the world is your oyster, just don't drop it in the rocks."

With those fleeting words, he flew away, and I walked home staring at the ground. I no longer found the death of another so enjoyable.