Friday, November 27, 2009

Life and Death Versus Lunch

Vero Beach Public Library

Look carefully at the above picture. See the two little fish, one of which is about to be eaten? They are the subject of a little drama.

I was walking past the boat launch ramp. I saw a pickup truck pull up and a man jumped out holding a bait net. I stopped to watch.

The man cast the net out directly in front of the ramp. He was lucky because he caught his bait on the very first cast. The man reached into the net, grabbed two or three fish that he wanted for bait, kicked some leftover big fish into the water, jumped in the truck and sped away. That man was in a awfully big hurry for some reason.

I looked down. There were two tiny little fish overlooked on the concrete ramp. There were also two hungry looking birds approaching. I grabbed my camera and moved in closer to get a shot.

Because of my presence, the birds were scared away. I stayed fixed. The little fish were flipping and flopping. With each flip they moved a bit down the sloping ramp. In less than a minute they would regain access to the water and swim away.

The imminent escape of the fish did not escape notice from the birds. Emboldened by the urgency, the birds overcame their fear and walked out close to me and the fish. I snapped the picture just as the boldest of the two birds was about to get his reward -- fresh sushi for lunch.

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