The wind barely stirred on this day at sunrise, as a rooster strutted and crowed in the bushes at the edge of the beach. I’ve noticed a couple things in the past few days. One, pup is turning grey, especially on her belly. And, two, pup is not happy with mom.
Pup noses mom’s belly, burrowing her pudgy face deep into mom’s body. She rotates from teat to teat. Apparently, she is not getting much milk from mom. Mom’s energy reserves are probably too depleted to produce pup’s favorite meal. So, pup squawks and, even, nips mom. Three times, mom swats pup with her front flipper after a love bite.
As I sit, two spearfishermen wade into the water. It is low tide. Directly across from where mom and pup now snooze, I watch as one spearfisher plucks two octopus from the water. Drats, I think. Mom would have liked noshing on octopus.
A coast guard plane flies low overhead. Mom lifts her head to look around, but pup is as still as the air.
When I depart two hours later, pup and mom are sleeping, the two spearfishermen walk the reef, and gentle waves wash ashore.