Friday, 27 September 2013

Thieving seal and the wrath of fox terriers

Seals stealing meals.

Early this morning I came across some local fishermen toiling with their net. Loud cursing and swearing warranted a closer look.

The cause of their agitation were three seals that had slipped over the floats, and were having a jolly good time inside the net. A considerable number of seagulls were also in attendance, squabbling over the remains of the fish being decimated.

The fishermen gave it their best, trying to get the net in while there was still some of their catch (and some of their net) left. They were extremely vocal about it, and I heard words I haven't heard in a long time. And some brand new words.

When the net reached the shallows, two of the seals once again slipped over the floats and headed for deeper water.  The third one left it too late, and got entangled in the net, broadening the vocabulary even further.
Mammals that catch free-swimming fish have extremely sharp teeth and lightning reflexes. Seals are particularly well equipped in this respect.

The seal resembled a bride with an attitude, and unveiling this bride was going to take some nifty footwork and nimble fingers.

I wish I had brought my video camera instead - this dance macabre was really something to behold. By now a crowd had gathered, and there was no shortage of advice shouted from a safe distance. Loudest of all were two fox terriers, making no bones about their intention to tear this beast apart. From a safe distance.

The seal was eventually freed and started lumbering towards the surf under loud applause. The foxies saw this as the cue to launch their vicious attack. Despite the seal's slow progress over the beach, the terriers seemed to be unable to quite catch up. Their body language said they were doing their best.

Once the water was deep enough for the seal to get a grip on its environment, it speeded up considerably. So did the fox terriers, making sure they didn't close the gap completely.

Having seen the seal off, the strutting and prancing was hilarious. They had saved the crowd, and that was one lucky, lucky seal.

Novels by the same author:
Cheetah in the rain
Fighting AIDS
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