Cedric and Sylvia—A Case of Mistaken Identity - SailNet Community

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Old 05-18-2000
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Sharon Cuthbert is on a distinguished road
Cedric and Sylvia—A Case of Mistaken Identity

 
Frolicking usually leads to something for sea otters Cedric and Slyvia.
 
"I hope Martha's OK," said Cedric thoughtfully as he sat beside Sylvia, looking out toward the Atlantic Ocean's horizon. The two otters had been playing non-stop since dawn and now rested, awaiting something else to put them in motion.

"What made you think about Martha?" asked Sylvia.

"Oh, I saw some strange ducks that I'd never seen before, and they reminded me of Martha and being out of one's own territory," replied Cedric.

"What was strange about the ducks?" asked Sylvia. "We have lots of ducks around here."

"The ducks looked different than the ducks that live here with us," replied Cedric. "They were nice ducks. They were just not from here. They came here from someplace else."

"Oh, I see", said Sylvia. These ducks are strangers—not strange."

Cedric sighed. "Yes, Sylvia," he said. "There are some new ducks here. NO! They're not new ducks. They're fully-grown ducks. They're just new to our neighborhood. You know, Sylvia, it's a good thing we had a lot of fun earlier this morning because sometimes being with you sure seems like being in school."

"Now, now, Cedric," Sylvia said soothingly. "I just want to help you learn to say what you mean, that's all."

"I know, Sylvia," Cedric responded. "I really do appreciate your efforts to make me a wiser otter."

 
Migrating geese fly thousands of miles on their way up and down the coast.
 
"Thank you, Cedric," Sylvia replied. "Now tell me about these ducks that have recently come here." Cedric slipped into the water and Sylvia followed. They rolled over onto their backs and floated there, enjoying the sunshine while they continued their conversation. "Well," said Cedric, "there were two of them and they were very quiet, just floating along. And they were big with long necks."

"Did they have what looked like a mask around their eyes?" asked Sylvia.

"Yes, they did," replied Cedric.

"Let's go see them," said Sylvia.

"OK," agreed Cedric, "follow me."

They swam along easily around a bend of the shoreline to where the branches of a willow tree extended out over the water. "Here's where they were," said Cedric. "I don't see them now. I wonder where they went."

"Cedric," said Sylvia, " what you probably saw was a pair of Canadian geese. They often stop by here when they migrate."

"What's migrate?" asked Cedric.

 
New-found friends hit the road, but they'll be back next year.
 
"Many birds and other animals move from one place to another throughout the year," Sylvia began. "Canadian geese are born in Canada during the spring. Then in the autumn they gather in large groups and fly south to avoid the frigid winters in Canada," she continued. "When spring returns, they all gather together again and fly back to Canada to have their families. And the whole process repeats itself."

"No wonder they're so big," Cedric exclaimed. "They have to be big and strong to fly so far."

"Cedric," Sylvia responded, "size has nothing to do with migration. Hummingbirds are among the birds that migrate and you know how small they are."

"Wow!" exclaimed Cedric. "You mean those tiny little hummingbirds can fly from Canada all the way down here?"

"Even farther," replied Sylvia. "Some travel from northern Canada clear down to southern South America!"

"That's amazing!" said Cedric, shaking his head.

"Yes," replied Sylvia. "Migration is an amazing thing and we get to see parts of it every spring and every autumn as some of the birds stop here in our neighborhood to rest and eat so that they can regain the strength to continue."

"I'm glad we don't have to work so hard," announced Cedric and playfully slapped Sylvia across the face with his wet tail. She pounced on him, he swam quickly away, and they were back in their play mode once again.

 

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