Breakfast at the Bait Bucket

Breakfast at the Bait Bucket

The white heron bellied himself up the bar for breakfast at the bait bucket.  He sat there with complete satisfaction that a fine meal was soon going to appear in his bucket.

“Where has this human been?” he thought.   He had been eagerly waiting for hours since sunrise for his human waiter to appear.  Now it was only a matter of timing.

It had taken weeks for the thought to slip into his head.  Even a bird brain notices when the local fisherman appear there is a free meal to be had.  He had not spent the days idly.  He would watch as every time a fisherman caught a large fish they placed it in one of the dirty white buckets of seawater that they brought to the beach.

Indeed, He soon noticed that they always carried at least two of these buckets.  One was for the “catch of the day” and the other was for the small yummy fish that where to be sacrificed in the name of dinner.

The ritual was always the same.  The human went into the water and filled up both buckets with seawater.  He then would take a small fishing net and, going knee-deep, cast it into the surf.  Soon he had these beautiful shiny small fish swimming in his bait bucket.

If, as a bird, you appeared too soon the fisherman would yell something incomprehensible at you and chase you away.  The trick was waiting till the human had already chosen his first sacrifice and gone into the surf to cast his reel.   Then, and only then, was it possible to get rock star seating at the bait bucket.

Now, the bird did not consider himself greedy.  He knew the odds of getting the main catch from the human were a great as being struck by lightning in a cloudless sky.  The human was still only a humble 20 yards away in the surf casting his latest bait into the deeper water in hopes of catching a larger fish. Far enough away to be safe, but close enough to be a problem.

He also knew that the fish the human was trying to catch would be way larger than his small sharp beak would be able to swallow, but the bait… Ahh, That as the humans say, “Was punching the meal ticket.”

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