Gift of the Seagull (a story-poem)

Posted: Monday, February 14, 2011 in Poetry and Literature

Gift of the Seagull

It fell down from the sunlit sky
Like a missile from yonder high

I rushed to see what it could be
With nary a thought about the perils for me

As we almost drowned, I rescued it from the harsh sea-wave
It didn’t bite, just cried, as if it knew I could save

A hunter’s barb had pierced its marvelous wing
What a cruel design on God’s delicate offspring

I hearkened home to my kids and sick wife in recovery
With them excitedly gathering at the new discovery

I tenderly removed the painful barb with firm resolve
My wife washed the wound and caressed with warm salve

What to call it was a fine little hurdle
At last we settled on calling it Scuttle

We nursed Scuttle for months, with love & care together
He roamed tamely at home, no cage nor even a tether

Scuttle grew stronger and healed remarkably well
So did my wife, as she now had a companion swell

Sometimes if he listened to us argue harshly
He just made a shrill cry to hush us wisely

In course of time, the farm became his domain
Even postman couldn’t intrude, sunshine or be it rain

He spotted insects and snails, and swallowed them whole
I had to shoo him from my garden, whenever he made a hole

He would stalk his prey, creeping closer without even a shout
We would watch in suspense, and called it The Scuttle Strut

I tried to teach Scuttle to take tentative flight
My kids ran with him keeping him in their sight

His wings dipped down and up, as he flew in a wobble
My kids laughed and followed, urging not to stumble

My kids aimed seeds at him to see if he was still weak
But he would dive at them and pretend to hit with his beak

As he made us his family, our hearts grew fond
We welcomed his each new trick, and firmer was our bond

He caught many slippery fish in the nearby stream
With easy fish for our dinner, it was like a dream

We all loved Scuttle, fondest was my wife
It was surprising, easily he merged into our life

One day he flew out and returned a day later
I knew then, it’s time to discuss the matter

I called my family, and bade them about my plan
My kids shrieked and remonstrated without any elan

They demanded fond friendship not be denied
“But he is our family”, thus they cried

Somehow I convinced them to agree, by and by
My heart heavy, concealing a deep sigh

We took him to the pier, on a cool moonlit night
The winter was near, and migratory birds in sight

The kids had tied on him a little ribbon amulet
It was a token to tell him we would never forget

With tears and kisses, we all bade him goodbye
I then firmly launched him into the heavens high

He swerved and swooped and I feared for his very life
But he just flew above us, and relieved too was my wife

“Godspeed and good luck”, I urged him as he soared lovely
Scuttle the Seagull was no longer present in the family

He joined other gulls, their joyous birdsong, a welcome tone
We clapped and shouted, so happy he was with his own

He screamed and somersaulted in the air for one last trick
As he flew amidst gulls thick, one gull kissed him on his beak

They faded away into the horizon, into clouds over the moon
We hoped he would return again, after winter was over soon

As I stared at the tiny soft feather, nestled in my palm
I was suddenly filled with fond memories and a blissful calm

My heart trembled with a twinge of regret and tearful glee
My son Scuttle the Seagull, was now forever free

This poem is a tribute to one of my pet dogs, who was with my family for many years. I had rescued him when he was a little mongrel puppy, being chained and teased by neighboring kids. I had to spend a long time getting him to trust people again, but once he understood he was a part of our family, he gave us his unflinching love and brought many happy moments of joy and laughter into our lives. One of my friends used to love the dog a lot, took care of him by accompanying us to the vet frequently and used to feed the dog lot of fresh meat and dogfood daily (me and my family were vegetarians, and the dog grew healthy and strong due to all this combined love, attention and regular walks for exercise). When we were to move away to another city (to an apartment complex, where we weren’t allowed to keep pets), it broke our family’s hearts to let go of our dear pet, family member and faithful companion, but we knew he would be safe with a person who loved him, and with whom he would be happy and healthy. The dog’s name was Junnu and he made a new home with my dear friend, who loved him a lot. Sometimes, the best way to love something/someone is to let it go free to flourish, even if that means making sacrifices.

  1. […] Gift of the Seagull (a story-poem by me) ( […]

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