Thursday, January 04, 2007

From One Generation to the Next

Saeed's International Market generates a lot of trash, most of it food related. It is a busy kitchen full of ingredients that cannot be found elsewhere in the Whaling City. Yesterday there were four overflowing cans, and a pile of boxes and bags on the School Street sidewalk.

New London's seagulls are a hungry lot. As you know, the younger a seagull the darker it is. When the birds are born they are as brown as tea. As they grow older they lighten to their more familiar pattern of gray on white with a yellow beak.

Seagulls are naturally ravenous, but New London's gulls have developed a taste for gyro meat and pickled turnips. There is only one place in the city where you can get this combination. On trash day, School Street is crowded with seagulls.

Our man in the field sat on the stoop of 109 School Street keeping company with a black cat. Both watched with varying degrees of interest as the older, whiter seagulls taught the younger, brown seagulls how to open trash bags and pluck out the contents. The birds were very quiet, not wanting to cause a commotion, and the whole affair was conducted with the dignity of a class at Mitchell College. Despite the decorum, when the lesson was finished the street was littered with scraps of paper and wilted vegetables. A while later, the Public Works Department came through. School Street was spotless after they passed. It looked like new pavement had been laid and the air smelled like April. This really happened on January 3rd, 2007.

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