A marvelous moment shared by the poet Elizabeth Bishop, conveying a connection across species and elements, as a seal allows a human to sing for him, a common interest in music binding them across the water-land divide.
One seal particularly
I have seen here evening after evening.
He was curious about me. He was interested in music;
like me a believer in total immersion,
so I used to sing him Baptist hymns.
I also sang ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God.’
He stood up in the water and regarded me
steadily, moving his head a little.
Source: Elizabeth Bishop, ‘At the Fishhouses’, quoted in Seamus Heaney, Finders Keepers: Selected prose 1971-2001 (London: Faber and Faber, 2003), p. 186. The full poem can be found at the Poetry Foundation.
Photo credit: Keith Luke at unsplash