Tuesday, August 28, 2007
One of Ashley’s favorite things to do at the beach is to feed the seagulls. I’ve taught all my children from a very young age how to throw food to one seagull, and almost instantly 20 more will appear. We’ve fed them from hotel balconies – we’ve fed them while we were on the beach – we’ve fed them in the mall parking lot - and one of our all time favorites, we’ve fed them while riding the ferry from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke Island in North Carolina.
Depending on the location and how familiar the gulls are with people, we can sometimes get them to take the food right from our hands. I have found, however, that not all people enjoy a flock of gulls circling above their heads. My family has had lectures from others about how nasty the birds are and that we’d better be careful lest they try to attack us. Folks on last year’s ferry ride asked us to move to the back of the boat if we insisted on feeding the birds. Ummm, is liking seagulls akin to being African American in the 1950’s?
Even if we are the Rosa Parks family of the seagull set, I love to see the looks on my children’s faces when the birds swoop and dive trying to get their morsel of food. Ashley calls them “beach chickens”, and the other day at the beach, fed them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and part of her chocolate cupcake. See, they’re learning about nature and about sharing all at the same time!