The Puffin (vi)

On that block of ice I wasn’t think of eating arms however but I did convince myself that it would be alright to eat the poor puffin, someone had to survive, and it may as well be me. I set about freeing it from the cage, no point eating it while it was still stuck fast with tar, it would take forever to get that out of your teeth. I had to near pull half its ruined feathers in the process but finally I had it out. Sensing its freedom immediately, the puffin wriggled out of my grip and waddled like a mad goose to the waters edge. It took a run up and spread its wings out to take off – I cried in despair, my dinner was about to fly away – but to my joy it fell flat into the water. I sat down and watched it swim away. The stories are true, I thought, it is both fish and bird. But I didn’t enjoy this revelation because it meant that I had just lost my only food. Dark clouds brooding behind my eyes, I felt a tantrum coming on. My mind was just as trapped on this ice as was my body. I had no one to blame, to shout at, or to hit but myself. I stomped around the iceberg but soon that became tiresome and I hit myself. It started with slaps to my face, which stung both my hand and my flushed cheeks, but my energy dissipated, my arms hung by my chest and I could only flick my ears as I cried into my jacket. I tired to sleep but could only cry more as my mind would not rest and continually went over my failure to capture the puffin again and again. You will be ruminating as I died slowly, a creeping and twisted voice whispered to me. But the thoughts did eventually come to an end and I once again had a dreamless and hungry sleep upon the iceberg.

I woke up to it snuggling under my arms, I decided to deal with it in the morning and for now let it share my warmth. All throughout the night it shivered , I wonder how long it had tried to last out in that cold ocean. “Poor little persistent thing at least you will be warm in my belly,” I told it, which its only reply was to look up at me with its beady eyes shaking in its skull like a lost child on the verge of tears. Then it occurred that it would be more compassionate to end its suffering now. I looked down again at the half feathered thing but it was no longer looking at me but at the tin of worms.

“Hmm,” says I, ” It wouldn’t hurt to fatten you up a little.” And so I picked up a worm and wafted it in front of the puffin, who did not hesitate to snatch it up. I saved the rest of the worms for fishing because I knew this little puffin wouldn’t feed me for long… oh how I was wrong.

And so that morning  I slipped out the gutting knife out of my boot with the intention of using it on the Puffin. I whistled and it waddled to me at once, more obedient than that long lost donkey. How long it was it that I sat listening, drenched in melancholy, to his fading heehaws?How hungry I was now. I grabbed the puffin and pressed its small face  into the ice with the knife at its throat. I closed my eyes and prepared to paint the ice pink with his insides, but then I had an idea.

<- Part 6 of 9 ->


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