February 8, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut
Once Upon A Time A Seagull Found Some Peanut Butter In A Plastic Container
The tale of this post happened right in front of me in Imperial Beach today. In a nutshell, there was a seagull that found a plastic peanut butter & crackers container and while trying to get at what was left of the peanut butter, attracted the attention of his fellow birds. A struggle ensued and the original owner ultimately lost his prize.
Trouble Started For The Seagull Right Away
I saw this episode as a metaphor for something. I’m not quite sure what to call it, but it’s one of those lessons or instances where the person (or bird) that gets what he wants ends up with more than he bargained for.
Outnumbered And On The Defensive
Basically, you have one bird that has something, so all the other birds want it now too. What none of the birds know is that whoever gets the prize will probably die. They are all fighting over something that will kill them, just because of the perceived value that ownership has given this certain something.
And Now We See It Is Just A Parable
It’s right about at this point, right about when the original owner of the highly sought after yet deadly prize looses the peanut butter that we can see this is a parable. Remember the Merrie Melodies cartoon “One Froggy Evening” where the construction worker finds a singing frog? That’s what happened right in front of me with these seagulls. I thought I was looking at the beginning, middle and end of a story but I wasn’t… I was looking at something much bigger.
And The Story Repeats Itself
What I saw as the end of my seagull story was merely the beginning of another, identical story for some one else, and so on and so on. Aside from the “don’t litter” undertones here, I think there is another lesson to be learned, a lesson that has to do with perception and point of view and things like that. I can’t quite put it into words, but I’m sure it’s there.