“Never confuse motion with action.” – Benjamin Franklin
A stout seagull sat on the pier piling with his young son. They were soaking up the first warm rays of the morning while the rest of the flock, 90 or so, was flying frantically about.
A cry came from the beach café, “FRENCH FRY!”
The whole flock descended on the trash bin in the parking lot. Feathers scattered as a cloud of dust enveloped the mob.
“Hey Dad. I’m hungry. Everybody else is getting breakfast!”
“Patience. Just wait a bit, boy.”
Instantly, another furor broke out. “CLAM! OVER HERE!”
The flock rose like a tornado and headed for a seaweed flotsam against the jetty. This time the layers of scrawny birds flapped furiously above the water keeping time with the surf.
The commotion seemed SO electric it made the youthful seagull anxious. He kept unfurling his wings flapping in imaginary flight and lifting inches above his perch. He added his voice to the already deafening din and gave his Dad a frustrated look.
“Come on DAD!”
The elder seagull silently kept his eyes trained out to sea.
“Just a bit longer. Here she comes.”
Feathers continued to scatter as the feeding riot moved quickly down the beach. By the time the weathered fishing boat pulled along the dock, the flock was a speck of a tumbleweed miles away. A breeze from the south brought one last diluted wail of “Pic-ic -asket!”.
The Dad calmly turned to his son, “Ready?”.
“Geez Dad. It’s too late NOW!”
Dad effortlessly lifted from the piling and landed softly on the deck. Then the stout old fellow waddled toward the newly moored boat just as men wheeled containers with their catch down the gangplank. Flopping fresh fish launched out at every angle from over-filled carts.
The two seagulls gobbled up those escapees until they were about to burst! Once they had eaten at their leisure, expending very little energy, and not drawing a bit of attention, the Dad winked at his son.
“Never confuse motion with action, my boy.”
Somewhere beyond the lighthouse, dark locust-like silhouettes momentarily eclipsed the rising sun followed by what sounded like a foghorn.