The Possessiveness of Seagulls
A seagull stands still, eyeing humans who are finishing their fish’n’chips. It perches upon a dark grey hard-edged rock, its white plumage flickering in the warm wind. High pitched caws and cries are carried with the in-and-out sound of the tide. The humans stand up, dust off their legs and walk away from the flapping paper that holds the left-over chips. The gull opens its red beak, arches its neck and silently charges with its back flattened. Picking up speed it heads toward a flurry of screaming wings, scrabbling up and down, clustered on the sand. The gull flaps its wings, lets out a curdled scream and dives into the feathery crowd.
My great-grandmother once got into a tug of war in the fabric department at Ballantynes, many years ago. There was a big sale on and her and another woman both grabbed the material role at the same time. They eyed one another and gave a light tug back and forth, until they began yanking, saying ‘’Excuse me, but I grabbed it first.’’ My great-grandmother pulled the hardest and walked away with the material. On Youtube there are clips of crowds waiting outside shops on Black Friday, piling through when the doors open, pushing one another. Recently two women were arrested for a brawl over toilet paper at a supermarket.
According to folklore, once a person dies their soul goes on to inhabit the body of a seagull.
Somewhere out there, inside the body of a seagull is my great-grandmother, running away with all the chips.
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