Just finished a little trip to Cape Town. Wining and dining with a significant amount of walking, talking, visiting people and animals alike.
Saw penguins in abundance and dang are they as cute in person as they ever were on Wild Kingdom!!
Saw a couple donkeys.
AND Saw seals as well. At first was super disappointed because I couldn’t get a good view of them in the water.
Then suddenly one of my friends said, “Hey, the seals are back on the cement behind the restaurant!”
I immediately jump up and run back to where the seal is. I’m a super cautious person and I know not to get too close to wild animals. So I peek around the corner of the building and there he is.. a passive seal, laying like a giant oil spill behind the fish delivery truck.
I snap a couple pictures of the lazy seal and start to walk back to our table. Then lo and behold…on the other side of the lazy seal is a beautiful massive seal sunning on the rocks behind the delivery truck.
I carefully walk past lazy seal who does not even bat an eye. I get some amazing pictures and now contented, decide to return to my table.
As I turn around, lazy seal is now standing tall on his flippers just staring at me. Still on the other end of the delivery truck but standing up..and as tall as I am..and just staring at me!! This photo does NOT do this seal justice!
I realize now there were a multitude of options I could have taken but at the time there was really only one option in my vision.
That option was to return the way I came. His back was too me and if I move slowly.. no loud sounds .. I’d be ok. I mean, he was super nice when I passed him the first time.. what could go wrong.
I slowly approached him (did not cross my mind this might cause an animal to think I was stalking IT!). I get directly to his backside as he is eyeing me over his shoulder. Suddenly he leaps in the air and rotates to face me (WHO KNEW SEALS COULD LEAP!!!) and barks. His bark may or may not have been worse than his bite but I will never know.
I have experienced fear in my life and even thought I had known terror a time or two. I was wrong. This day.. with this seal.. I felt for the very first time.. sheer, blind-white terror. I remember some of the details, but many were restated and even re-enacted by my friends who were with me.
I screamed.. I ran.. I ran blindly.. I fell.. I fell with abandon.. I think I was still running and screaming.. even from a horizontal position.
I finally stood up. Seal was forgotten and apparently gone. My hands were bleeding.. my shoulder was bleeding.. my forehead was bleeding. My ring finger on my left hand was no longer aligned top to bottom. I still felt no pain. I was fixated on my finger and the random position it was in.
A friend’s friend’s son was like, “That don’t look right!” I looked at his dad and flatly said, “Put it back.” He asked, “Uh, what?” Me: “Put IT back where it was… MY FINGER.. JUST PUT IT back.” He asked if I was sure.. according to others I said yes. He did. I am whole..a little more learned.. and healing nicely I think.
public service announcement: DO NOT PLAY WITH WILD ANIMALS
*no matter how docile they appear!