The Albatross

At dawn, the Albatross likes to stake out a position on the pier and stand defiantly against the wind, feeling it rush through her. For hours on end they would stand staring into the wind, looking very content with life. No matter how cold, or how windy, this was their favourite part of the day. This was their favourite part of the world.

Albatross are a bit like the Magpie; they don’t really believe in altering their position for a human. They will either remain where they are (eyeballing you as you pass), or they’ll say, ‘Nup, you got too close’, and reluctantly fly to another position.

My morning walk would often cause great disruption to the many Albatross’ meditating on their pier. I could feel the resentment. As I entered the pier, I’d see them ahead, all with their backs to me staring into the wind. As I inched closer, I’d notice their heads start to tilt ever so slightly towards me, as if to say, ‘What’s this guy up to? Is he coming out to the pier? No-one comes out here when it’s like this!’. They’d go back to meditating, assuming I’d eventually turn back. Then their heads would tilt again, as if to suggest, ‘Sigh. He’s coming all the way. Ok guys, better move ahead, he’s coming’. Collective sigh. Onwards they would move to the next set of poles.

I heard a rumour that the land birds thought the sea birds were weird. I once heard a chick being berated by his mother for flying down to the sea at dawn during a storm.
‘What are you doing hanging around with those birds?! They sit there in that wind all day, in that cold, it’s weird! You should be nestled into your nest during inclement weather!’.
‘It’s not weird, just different! You don’t understand. They are connected to the sea and the elements in a way you’ll never understand. You’re just a tree bird’.
‘It’s a cult. All they do is squawk, they can’t even sing. What sort of bird doesn’t sing?! You will not be hanging out at the pier with the seabirds anymore. They’re queer. End of discussion!’.
‘You’re not a bird, you’re a dinosaur!’.
‘Very well, find your own worms then. And wait till a crow gets his eye on you. It’s a jungle out there; I’m just trying to prepare you for life when I’m not around. Our entire purpose in life is preservation of the species. You’ll understand one day’.

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