Jonathan Livingston Eggshells

The approach

My daughter, Erin, and I were sitting on the rocks at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas this morning when a seagull landed near us. Surprisingly, he started walking toward us. We were sure he’d fly away, but no, he kept moving toward us.

The staredown

At one point, he stopped and looked at us for a few moments. We were amused. He looked like a gull with a goal, but we had no idea what he was up to.

Cool and casual

Slowly, he inched toward us. Now Erin and I were laughing. It occurred to me that maybe he was after the hardboiled egg shells I had wrapped in a napkin after having a quick snack on the rocks. The balled-up napkin was on a rock to my left. But no, I decided that he couldn’t possibly know what was in the napkin because to the best of my knowledge, seagulls weren’t known for their superior sense of smell.

Victory is mine!

Step by step, he continued sauntering toward us. It struck us that he was trying to be oh so casual, as if he were whistling and nonchalantly looking around so we wouldn’t notice him. And then . . . sure enough, it was the eggshells he was after! He darted over, snatched the napkin before I could reach it, and scurried away! I jumped up and chased after him as he dropped his treasure in the sand. The tide rolled in and over his treat, which allowed me to retrieve the soggy napkin pieces before he could gobble them up. As the water receded, he got to work snarfing down the eggshell pieces as Erin and I held our breath, hoping he wouldn’t choke on them. But the little rascal finished his sandy snack and flew away with no sign of distress.

Note to self: Don’t eat thinly sliced salmon on a beach in San Francisco if any birds are nearby. After all, that’s a potent combination . . . lox and bay gulls!

Click here to view all my posts about Encinitas.


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6 Responses to “Jonathan Livingston Eggshells”

  1. Erin Says:

    You are punny!

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    And you’re the best girl ever! We’re even!

  3. Barbara Deal Says:


  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I’m making no apologies for ending the story with a pun, Barbara! I came up with that one in eighth grade after watching a film about locks and waterways and birds in class. My teacher groaned too . . . in appreciation!

  5. Annie Flanders (@DeadTurkeyTweet) Says:

    what a GREAT story, phil.

    thank you for being so AWESOME :)

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Aw, shucks, Annie. All credit goes to the seagull.

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