Finally, now that the sun has decided to take the chill off the earth and it suddenly feels much more temperate all around, it’s the perfect time to take a stroll along the beach. Why wait until it gets unbearably hot, when the tourists creep out of hiding and pollute the shores, and even the bugs and bees seem more ferocious? Just as winter breaks, and the sandy shores are still quiet, that simple strip of undulating water feels like a refuge from the craziness of everyday business. For a brief time during this off-peak season, dogs are still allowed in as well, so it’s a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your canine friend(s).
Not a soul in sight, a peaceful breeze is the only thing we meet on this brisk March morning. Isis romps happily to examine the debris left behind at low tide, being careful not to actually touch the water’s edge. She hates baths and walking in the rain, or just getting wet in general, with a fiery passion, so it’s understandable that she’s wary of this strange mass of moving water.
Trotting out onto a freshly unearthed sandbar, striated with gentle waves that mimic the ocean’s caress, it was there that she paused, and suddenly let out a low growl. Typically easy-going and certainly not aggressive like this, I rushed over to see what she had found.
Laid out nearly straight like an emerald green arrow, I could scarcely believe the object of Isis’s fascination was in fact an electric eel!* Sure, there may occasionally be the odd jellyfish or two that washes up on our beach, but never an eel- They usually stick to the bottom of the ocean floor anyways, so what was this guy doing all the way out here?
Fearing that it might be stuck, and more importantly, that Isis might try to eat it soon if I didn’t do something, I thoughtlessly reached down to scoop the overgrown worm and toss him back into the blue-green waves when…
ZZZzt! Like sticking your fingers in an electrical socket, a jolt of electricity surged through my arm, thoroughly shocking me both literally and figuratively. All the while, that beached little creature looked so innocent and helpless… What a joke!
Quickly putting Isis back on a leash and marching away, I can only wonder how many other poor passersby might have tried to “help” had it been a little bit later in the season, when the people come in droves. I guess it’s a good thing it was just the two of us- But what an electrifying experience!
*Yes, I know that electric eels look different, just humor me here, okay?