Life lesson number 21: Don’t be Mean Like Freddie
The first impression a person has of Freddie the Gull is that he is an extremely charismatic fellow. As soon as you take a seat on the balcony of The Moran Bay Motel, he will fly in and become your unofficial welcoming committee. He will pace the railing to distract you from the gorgeous scenery. The bird will pose and wait for you to snap a picture before continuing his stroll along the wooden platform. He almost smiles as he stands on one leg like a tightrope walker in the circus. I don’t know where he learned that trick. We soon discovered his gregarious behavior was a trick. Don’t be Mean Like Freddie.
Freddie hung out with us for about an hour before another gull sailed in the sky over our heads. The bird started squawking and launched into the air, trailing behind the other gull. We thought this was the last we would see of him, but Freddie flew back in a few minutes and took his place on the railing. He persisted for some time until the second gull flew over again. Freddie followed this time and didn’t return.
“What do you think that was about?” Rooster asked.
“I don’t know, but I guess either sex or food was involved,” I replied.
Don’t be Mean Like Freddie
We strolled down the sidewalk, searching for a place to eat dinner. All thoughts of Freddie flew out of our heads. The story about the treacherous gull didn’t unfold until the next day. Dave, the new owner of the Moran Bay Motel, told us Freddie’s story. The bird was a notorious beggar. He came to the railing every day looking for an easy meal. Dave informed us he loved doughnuts. The bird’s loyalty and friendliness only lasted until he received his treat. He disappeared in the fall but migrated back in the spring with his wife, Betty.
Freddie’s relationship with Betty is where the bird reveals his ruthless side. Dave said Freddie was mean to her because he didn’t want to share his treats. The behavior we saw the evening before involved him warning her to stay away from his potential snack. If she decided to land, he’d peck and nip at her until she flew away.
Don’t be Mean Like Freddie
We all know those types of people. They look slick on the outside but are rotten to the core. They will smile, shake your hand, and stab you in the back when you aren’t looking. Freddie looked like a friendly bird, but we wondered if we could trust him not to bite after we learned about how he treated Betty.
Some people live their life like Freddie. They want to keep all the good stuff to themselves. Their territorial nature warns other people to keep their distance. They don’t care if there is enough good stuff for everyone. They want to keep a big pile for themselves. They refuse to share even if too much of a good thing will hurt them.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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