Herman the Unselfish Seagull Written and Photographed by Victoria Easter
For Phillip, Sarah-Ann, and Miranda Everyone knows that seagulls are the most selfish birds in the world. And if you didn’t know – I just told you.
Seagulls fly from this beach to that beach, greedily flapping their wingsand demanding a crumb of bread or a bite of fish.
Every seagull that is, except Herman - who flew opposite to his kind.
No matter how hungry, or thirsty, or tired he was, Herman wouldalways offer up his share to others first. Naturally, his flock thought thisbehavior was very unusual, and it was, for a seagull.
They never missed an opportunity to tease poor Herman.
“Herman you silly bird,” they jeered, “never looking out for yourself.Why, you’re a disgrace to the seagull race!” And with a humph of displeasure,the flock scuttled over to a nearby sand dune.
Herman was very upset. Being un-selfish was Herman’s life and he hadnever tried anything else. “If my friends can’t appreciate my ways, then I’ll have to change.”Herman thought, “I want to make them happy.”
At dawn when the seagull flock set out for their breakfast, Hermanbegan his transformation. Instead of politely waiting for the other birds to flypast, Herman pushed and shoved his way towards the front of the group. “Move it!” He squawked. “What’s wrong with Herman?” the others wondered.
At lunchtime the other birds expected Herman to share his pile of fish,just as he always did. Surprisingly, Herman gulped down every last bite andsnarled at any bird that came near his tasty treats.
During the flock’s daily swim in the tide pool, Herman didn’t allow evenone bird to set foot in the cool water. “I found this tide pool first!” Herman screeched, “Go away!”
By the time the sun hung low on the horizon, the flock was veryconfused. Herman was not at all the nice, kind, sharing seagull he had oncebeen. Finally, even Herman couldn’t take his meanness one second longer.
“That’s it!” Herman announced suddenly, “I’ve tried to be selfish like aseagull is supposed to be and I feel miserable! I have bruises from bumpinginto you this morning, my tummy aches from all that fish I ate by myself,and my feet are exhausted from guarding my tide pool all afternoon. I wouldmuch rather share with everyone.”
And the flock of seagulls couldn’t have agreed more.
“Whenever people are jealous orselfish, they cause trouble and do all sorts of cruel things.” James 3:16 CEV The End