sushi

on the 24th of june, we brought a small, hungry, forlorn and orphaned herring gull home in a cardboard box strapped to the back of my bicycle. we found her (or him, who can tell?), on the roof of the building where Nic teaches, where she’d been abandoned with three siblings, all of which were dead by the time we coaxed her off the roof with raw fish guts. because of the raw fish, we started calling her sushi. when she moved in, she got a box lined with paper in the kitchen, and not quite 24-hour access to the back garden. for 27 days she ate raw fish, cooked fish, raw chicken, cooked chicken, tuna, chunks of cuttlefish bone, banana, cabbage, slugs, spiders and god knows what else. she crapped everywhere. she groomed and left tiny bird dandruff everywhere. she bathed in a roasting tin. she got bigger. the leopard spot fluff on her head turned into feathers. her tail grew. she practiced flying. she played tug-of-war with Nic. she hardly made a sound. she eye-balled the neighbourhood gulls when they flew over the garden n order to check her out. she behaved like she owned the place. then on the 20th of july, she flew from the patio onto the garden wall, and from there onto the neighbour’s kitchen roof, and from there over the front of the terrace, and from there we don’t really know because that’s the last time we saw her. hopefully, she’s in the park or at the beach or in someone else’s yard crapping on their stuff. we have no way to be sure, but we hope we gave her enough of what she needs (hard to ask other gulls for parenting advice), to survive. by the way, she’s brown and white, black beak, pinkish legs, about 10 inches high, 3 1/2 foot wingspan and quiet…if you see her, tell her to check in.