I Want To Be Where The People Are

Natl Geo Nov 68
Natl Geo Nov 68

Petey the harbor seal is sad. He has slithered across shells and seaweed to watch the widow Stella once again fry up eggs for one. Ever since Galen went to be with the Lord, Stella has been very lonely. When she looks out the window, she sees Petey watching her.

So she decides to make a friend. But when she has eaten her breakfast, Petey is long gone. Determined, she ties a kerchief ’round her noggin and gallops into the cold Atlantic Ocean until she retrieves Petey.


“Catch of the day,” she yells into the salty air, and a shiver goes down Petey’s spine.

Stella is so, so lonely. Petey has second thoughts. Stella doesn’t understand personal space.


Petey decides he doesn’t want to be where the people are. He is totally cool being where the sharks are.

But Stella invites him to visit with her and her neighbor Bruce. Doesn’t Petey look happy?


Petey learns that hind flippers are of no use on a cheap throw rug. Still, he is determined. At dawn, he rolls himself onto the original hardwood floor and off the sun porch into the sand. A trio of nuns spots him as he enters the water.


But Petey doesn’t need their blessing now. He is home free. Godspeed, Petey. Godspeed.



Note: All images are from National Geographic. The seal is actually named Shag, and he was adopted by the Horstman family in Longport, New Jersey. Not that that makes it any less weird.



  1. I was already laughing at Petey preferring sharks to the woman who invades his personal space and then I read that Petet was actually named Shag and I lost it. Just in case you don’t know, in the UK it’s also a seabird but shag is also a crude word for sex. Puerile, I know, but it made me laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

Observation and Interpretation:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s