The Seagull Who Was Afraid To Fly

Excerpt from the book

Pages 45 - 48 from The Seagull Who Was Afraid To Fly
PublishAmerica Baltimore
The Seagull Who Was Afraid To Fly
Steven P. Wickstrom

© 2004 by Steven P. Wickstrom All rights reserved. No part of this book may be re­pro­duced, stored in a re­triev­al sys­tem or trans­mitted in any form or by any means without the prior writ­ten per­mis­sion of the publishers, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a newspaper, magazine or journal.
First printing


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The Seagull Who Was Afraid To Fly

“I'd love to hear you sing,” said Jill. Dusty agreed along with her.

“Great,” said Elvis as he started looking around. “Now where is my stage director?” Elvis put his flippers up to his mouth and hollered, “Roy!” A minute later, a sea otter came bounding up to Elvis. “What's up, boss?”

“Set up the stage and get the band ready,” said Elvis to his stage director. “We're going to do a number. Tell the band that we're going to do the sea lion song.”

“Right away, boss,” replied Roy.

“Come on,” said Elvis, “let's watch the crew set up the stage.”

Roy bounded off, and Elvis, Dusty, and Jill walked around the log to watch the action. Jill was surprised to see so many animals because she had no idea that they had been there. She had thought that the only ones on the beach were herself, Dusty, and Elvis. Her eyes grew wide in wonder as she stood beside the log and watched. In a flurry of activity, a makeshift stage was erected and the band climbed up onto it and started setting up their instruments. The fiddler crabs tuned their violins and other harp seals tuned their saxophones, trumpets, and trombones. A couple of otters were tuning their guitars on another corner of the stage.

The noise was attracting a crowd. Seagulls, pelicans, geese, and ducks dropped in to enjoy the show. Seals, sea otters, walruses, and turtles swam ashore to get a good seat. Dusty looked around and was amazed at how big the crowd had become in such a short period of time. He had no idea that Elvis was so popular.

Roy, who was the stage director, walked up to the front of the stage. He gazed out over the audience for a moment and softly cleared his throat. He immediately had everyone's attention.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” said Roy in a huge booming voice. “We'd like to welcome all sea mammals, aquatic birds, and crustaceans. And now,” he paused for effect, “I present to you … the one … the only … banjo-playing harp seal … ELVIS!”

Dusty was shocked that anyone could speak so loudly. He watched Roy walk off the stage with awe and respect. He wondered if he could learn to speak with such a commanding voice.

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Steven P. Wickstrom

“That's my cue,” said Elvis as he headed for the stage.

Elvis walked to the center of the stage while the audience cheered and applauded. He picked up his banjo and walked up to the front of the stage and waited for the noise to die down. He bowed several times and seemed to enjoy the attention he was getting. His shiny black eyes quickly surveyed the audience. He loved being up on the stage in front of a crowd of fans. When the noise level dropped low enough, Elvis addressed his audience.

“Thank you very much,” said Elvis in his quiet country accent.

“Thank you, thank you and thank you,” he said as he pointed to a female pelican. With a sigh, the female pelican fell over and fainted. Dusty raised his eyebrows in surprise as he watched the pelican faint.

“We're gonna do a song that we've never performed in public before,” continued Elvis. “You folks are the first audience that we have ever played this song to. Are you ready for a treat?” He waited once again for the cheering and applause to die down. “I'd like to dedicate this song to Dusty and Jill, my two seagull friends who are right up here in the front row.”

Dusty heard a young voice behind him say, “Wow, mom, they know Elvis!” Dusty was tempted to turn around and look, but decided that it would be impolite. He grinned at Jill, and then focused on Elvis.

Elvis turned to face the band and started snapping his flipper. “One, two, a one two three four.”

The drummer continued the rock-and-roll beat, and the brass section started playing. The violins jumped in with a counter melody and the audience members started tapping their feet in time to the music. The music blended rock-and-roll and jazz into a unique and delightful medley. The whole beach resounded with music. Elvis waited for the intro to finish, and then he started to sing.

You ain't nothing but a sea lion, lying on a buoy.

You ain't nothing but a sea lion, lying on a buoy.

Well you ain't never caught a salmon and you ain't no friend of mine.

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The Seagull Who Was Afraid To Fly

Elvis played furiously on his banjo for a few minutes while the band backed him up. The audience cheered. Elvis grinned as he played his banjo; he was in his element. A pair of robins danced in time with the music. Elvis finished his impromptu solo, and then resumed singing.

You ain't nothing but a sea lion, lying on a buoy.

You ain't nothing but a sea lion, lying on a buoy.

Well you ain't never caught a salmon and you ain't no friend of mine.

When they said that you weren't lazy, well that was just a lie.

When they said that you weren't lazy, well that was just a lie.

Well you ain't never caught a salmon and you ain't no friend of mine.

The band abruptly stopped playing and Elvis simultaneously started strumming furiously on his banjo again. His banjo solo caused the audience to break out into a round of applause. The audience members hooted and hollered and stamped their feet in time to the music. Some of the geese in the front row started dancing while Dusty watched in amazement. The band joined in with Elvis again and the beach was once again flooded with music. Elvis winked at a female fur seal who promptly fainted.

“Come on Dusty,” shouted Jill above the music. “Let's dance.”

“I don't know if I can,” responded Dusty. “My body is still kind of sore.”

“It will help loosen you up,” said Jill as she started to dance.

Dusty started to stiffly dance along with Jill while the audience in the immediate vicinity cheered them on. The audience clapped and stomped. Dusty's body started to limber up a little and he was having a lot of fun in spite of the fact that he wasn't dancing very well.

A mallard duck was watching Dusty's ungainly movements with bewildered amazement, and said just a little bit too loudly, “I'm telling ya, that pigeon can't dance!”

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Steven P. Wickstrom

The music stopped as if a phonograph needle had been dragged across a record. All noise stopped as everyone looked at the duck. The duck nervously looked around and became uncomfortable with the fact that he was now the center of some rather hostile attention. It's usually not a good idea to insult the person to whom the song is dedicated, and the poor duck was quickly figuring that out for himself. As soon as he made that connection, he decided that it was time to leave.

“I think that it is time for me to resume my journey north for the summer,” said the duck to no one in particular. “Excuse me, pardon me, coming through,” he said as he pushed his way through the crowd.

“Excuse me, pardon me, coming through.” As soon as he was outside of the audience, he flew away, heading north.

“One, two, a one two three four,” said Elvis. The band resumed playing its rock and roll melody. Dusty however, decided not to continue dancing. He had had enough for one day. Elvis continued with his song.

You ain't nothing but a sea lion, lying on a buoy.

You ain't nothing but a sea lion, lying on a buoy.

Well you ain't never caught a salmon and you ain't no friend of mine.

The band played the final notes and ended with a stinger.

“Thank you very much, thank you, thank you and thank you,” said Elvis as he pointed at a female otter. She of course, fainted. “You're a wonderful audience.” The audience cheered and whistled at Elvis. Elvis turned and walked off the stage.

Roy, the stage director, walked up to the front of the stage and said in his booming voice, “Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.” The audience gave one final cheer and then started to disperse. The band members started to put away their instruments, and Roy walked off the stage with Elvis' banjo, to put it away until the next concert.

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