Wild Kingdom

Anyone remember Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins? Well Mutual of Omaha sponsored our beach day yesterday! Saw all kinds of wildlife.

At 8:06, I was in the parking lot, ready to ride my bike. Rode 1.1 miles to the city beach, took some pix and headed back. Made it home by 8:40. So I went 2.2 miles in approx. 30 mins. I stopped for a short break on a bench. So I have already upped my game! It took me twice as long last time. Woot! So that’s like 4 miles an hour-ish.

Woke everyone up when I got back, then we headed to the beach. Water was clear and deep! The shore was up a few feet and the drop-off was steep. It’s nice because you can stay close to shore, but stand up just a few feet from the waterline. Very relaxing. The temp of the water was cool and the sun shining down was warm!

We toed around for shells. We bobbed around in the very mild waves. It hasn’t been that calm until yesterday. We giggled and relaxed. We goofed and joked around. It was amazing.

Then! We saw a freaking manatee! Sea cow! Whatever you call them. They are adorable!!! Squee!

I haven’t seen any large fish or mammals that close to shore yet. I think because the water was so deep and all the tourists have gone, we are seeing more marine life. It was unbelievable! Every time I don’t take my camera, I see something remarkable.

So, we were just sort of wading and swimming around, just a few feet from shore, and two people who were walking up and down the beach came briskly back to our position.

“There’s a manatee!” the woman shouted.

“Stay where you are, they are very docile! He’ll come right to you.” the man called.

My mouth was hanging open and I could only utter, “No way!”

All I said after that for a few minutes as the manatee passed by was, “Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh.” I wanted to cry.

The water wasn’t clear enough to see the manatee just a few feet from us, but we saw his/her shadow. He wasn’t very big, but he was big. I’ve seen a full-size adult manatee and they’re about the size of a small car. This one was slightly smaller. But still. BIG! He was probably Manatee Jr. I tried to dive and watch him pass, but the water was just a bit too cloudy.

I wanted to jump on his back and hug the stuffings out of him, but I restrained myself. I wasn’t sure if I should get up by him, so I stayed back. It was hard to stay still. He was within 6 feet. EEEE! But I decided NOT to molest this harmless sea creature.

He didn’t breach by us, I wish he had, but he breached for air just a few yards away and we saw his cute, little brown snout and tail. I was stunned.

Then we saw a few rays leaping out of the water. Again, stunning! Then my husband saw a black snake on the way back to the apartment.

For those of you who didn’t read, I saw a bobcat the other morning on the same path. Dangerous little walkway that is! We were on safari yesterday! lol

Lots of little fish in the water as well. Darting around us. Plus, I want to go at night sometime because we have sea turtles on our beach. I wouldn’t touch them, disturb them or bother them, but I would love to see them.

This is a very cool place. Hope we see another manatee sometime soon. They are so majestic, magnificent, marvelous! But does that mean a shark could come that close to shore? YIKES!!


If you just relax and let the world come to you, you will see amazing things.

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The Ravine

This story was composed for a literary competition celebrating Ray Bradbury. Obvs, they didn’t pick mine. So I’m publishing here. Rules: 451 words or less (Fahrenheit 451) and in the style of Bradbury. Mine was exactly 451. Also, one was to pick a theme. Choosing a word from the stream-of-consciousness string of nouns that Bradbury would use for his stories. I chose “The Ravine”.

My body is in the ravine. On my back. Legs twisted and broken. Flesh is taken from my side by dogs. Stones and leaves are taking blood from my injuries. Life is a stain. Draining away. Being stolen. I’m almost gone.

I’m not sure when I came into being. When I came to my conscious mind. I just have memories. Like anyone. No one remembers being born. I just am. But not for long.

I like to run. I’m good at running. That’s good because I have to run. From them.

They are afraid of me. They don’t like me. Always yelling. Always pursuing. Always. They aren’t kindly calling me, looking for the lost. They are mad. And I know, because I exist.

Tug-tug. Tug. I can feel my body moving left-right, left-right, left-right. The dogs are almost done.

  1. That’s my name. I know my name because it was called every morning at work.

451, move forward.

I enjoyed my work. For as long as I did it. Mainly because I was good at it. I was designed for it. I haven’t been at work for several days. My teammates won’t ever know what becomes of me. My death will be a secret to keep.

My brown, muscular legs are losing their power now. Winding down into the earth. I raise my head to look at the men standing over me. They click their cheeks against their teeth. One man has tears in his eyes. The others have steel. All have regret.

What a waste.

I wouldn’t go back. Not even if I could. The world is too sweet. Colorful. Warm. I would die anyway, if I went back, knowing what I know. Seeing what I have seen.

They didn’t expect me to know things. I tried to keep it inside. I tried not reading in front of them at all. Or, if I couldn’t help myself, pretend to be curious, but dumb about papers and pages and books. Eat and nibble at them. Nudge and slobber on them. But also read them.

It worked. Until I spoke. In anger and frustration.

They froze. I froze. We paused in that enormous moment and wondered about more than work, deadlines and productivity. We thought about life. The door was unlocked. I kicked. And ran.

Now. Here. This is where my intelligence has brought me. Bleeding out in a lonely, lovely dry river bed of wild taste and feeling.

They stroked my tangled mane and rested their palms on my cold, barely-beating chest.

They said, “We’ll take you back.”

Please, bury me here. Please don’t take me back. I want to live and die on the out.

“You were our best horse.”