I was sitting on the rocks that lead to Long Point, a tiny island off the tip of Provincetown, when something remarkable happened. A seal swam up and pulled himself onto a neighboring rock. He gave me a curt nod. I nodded back.
We sat there for several minutes before the seal slipped off the rock and floated off on the tide. He drifted for a few hundred yards and then swam back. He pulled himself onto my rock before slipping back into the sea and letting the tide carry him off again.
Apparently, this was some type of elaborate seal game that he wanted me to play. But I had planned to meet friends at the Tea Dance that afternoon, and I didn't want to get my hair wet. (Seals don't have hair and, so, they are less than sensitive when you attempt to explain that certain standards of grooming apply even to lesbians.) Instead, I tried to interest the little fella in a game of gin. But when I pulled out the cards he flipped the deck into the water with his nose.
Our refusal to take an interest in each other's hobbies put both of us in a snit. But, thankfully, neither of us are the type to hold a grudge. So we were soon back to our old routine: he relaxed at my feet and I sang him songs about the character flaws of fish.
We were having a fine time, until I heard a voice call out to us. 'Do you know it's a federal offense to approach a seal?' the voice asked. The seal and I looked up to see a rather fetching woman waving a DNR badge. 'I'm going to have to arrest you,' the officer said, pulling out her handcuffs. (I was instantly aroused! A similar scene has long been the centerpiece of one of my favorite fantasies, which involves forcible detention by a lady officer who possesses a certain blonde sensibility.)
'I didn't approach the seal,' I explained. 'He approached me. Arrest him.'
I glanced down at the seal, who was staring up at me with his big seal eyes. As we all know, seal eyes are the most manipulative eyes known to nature. The seal thought that if he gave me that pathetic 'I'm-just-a-simple-pinniped' look I'd take the fall for him. But he was wrong.
The DNR officer stared hard at the seal. 'Is this true, seal?' she asked. Instead of answering, the seal performed a bunch of stunts. He clapped his fins and barked, rolled over and flashed his adorable belly, and then nuzzled the officer's leg. Shameless! How could I compete?
Luckily, the officer had been walking this beat a long time and was onto the seal's tricks. She scribbled out a ticket and handed it to the seal. The seal grabbed it in his mouth and jumped into the water, flipping his fin at us before swimming out to sea.
The officer sighed sadly as we watched the seal disappear into the waves. 'Well, that's a waste of paper,' she said. 'Seals are the biggest scofflaws in the animal kingdom. That ticket will never be paid.'
(The Canadian government will allow hunters to kill 1 million seals in the next three years. Help stop this senseless slaughter! Go to: www.protectseals.org/)