Although pelicans waddle ungracefully on dry land, they soar effortlessly
when they spread their wings and fly. Not only are they are excellent
aviators, they are experts at fishing as well. Pelicans have a netlike
pouch in which they catch fish. Although it's convenient to have a
pouch, it also presents problems because a pouch full of fish attracts
Seagulls are noisy, pesky, and relentless scavengers.
These raucous birds make themselves a royal pain in the back when they find
a pelican with a pouch full of fish. The gull lands on the pelican's
back and starts yelling. I don't know the precise translation of his shrill
voice, but it sounds something like, "Mine, mine, mine," and that's
exactly the way the gull acts. He behaves as if the contents of the
pelican's pouch belongs to him.
The gull is as smart as he is irritating. He knows that when he
is on the pelican's back, there is nothing the pelican can do to him without
losing the fish out of his pouch, which is what the gull wants to happen.
He's looking for a few morsels of fresh fish to fall out of the pelican's
beak into the ocean where he can scavenge them. So
the gull does a tap dance on the pelicans back waiting for the big payoff.
The unwanted visitor will leave as soon as his extortion scheme succeeds..
The pelican does his best to ignore the seagull screaming in his ears, and
at the same time, he keeps his pouch submerged where it is out of reach of
the unpleasant visitor on his back. As long as the pouch is
underwater, the fish are inaccessible to the gull.
The pelican finally pops his head out of the water, and that's the
opportunity the gull needs. Fish tails are sticking out of the
pelican's mouth, and the gull quickly grabs a piece of fish making all of
the waiting worthwhile.
The gull grabs his tidbits and takes off leaving the pelican to swallow his fish in peace.
After the gull takes flight, the pelican chills out enjoying a gull free
existence. I don't know what the pelican is thinking after the gull
leaves, but I know what I would be saying if I got a gull off my back. "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I'm free at