Sydney was a seagull
But he’d never seen the sea
He lived a hundred miles away
At a grey food factory
And you might ask “how could it be?”
“A seagull that’s never seen the sea”
Now that really would be silly!
But not so silly as it seems
As seagulls have a taste
For making homes within our towns
And eating what we waste.
They played on tips and swooped in skips
To feed on frozen fish and chips
But Sydney longed to wheel and soar
Above the waves and sandy shore….
And catch fish of his own.
He felt as if he didn’t belong
He asked his Grandpa why
That he should want to leave his home
To spread his wings and fly?
His Grandpa was a wise old bird
Who’d travelled far and wide.
He’d followed trawlers out to sea
And come home with the tide.
“The factory is your home” he said,
“it’s everything you know”
“But if it is your destiny, you really ought to go”
“Grandpa, please come with me, as I don’t know the way”
“I’m far too old” his Grandpa said
“but listen to what I say…….
“Follow the sun as far as you can
To the West where the sky meets the ground”
“But if there’s no sun then follow the van,
On it’s daily delivery round”
So Sydney woke upon first light,
As his family soundly slept.
His roost was warm and comfortable,
And outside it was grey and wet.
He patiently circled the factory yard
As the workers arrived for their shift.
And the driver sat and drank his tea
As his van was filled with a forklift.
And when the van began it’s round
With Sydney high above,
He left the factory far behind
With everything he loved.
On multiple drops at markets and shops
The van left frozen meals in a box.
And whilst it was stopped in a busy high street
Sydney flew down and perched on a seat.
“And Whooo are youuu?”
Said a pigeon with a coo.
“This is my bench and my bread too”
“I’m Sydney the seagull, i’m off to the coast,
It’s where I belong, it’s what I want most”
“Rubbish!” said the pigeon
“I’m not one to boast,
But scavenging food is what I do best,
Just hanging around and being a pest,
And that’s how it’s been since I hatched in the nest”
“I know who I am and I know my flock,
And I love my roost on the town hall clock”
The van door slammed and the engine began,
as the birds all scattered as one.
“Wait” said Sydney, “I don’t understand?”
But the pigeon had already gone
The van continued on its way,
With Sydney flying high
And as they reached the motorway
The sun was in the sky.
Progress was slow
Start … Stop …. And go,
Endless cones and contraflow
Then losing the van in the bright orange glow
Sydney flew down and spied an old crow
…..in a service station car park.
“How far to go?”
Said Sydney to crow.
He hopped on one leg and cawed “I don’t know”
“but i’ll bet my beak that you’re on the right road,
For everyone seems to be heading this way
When they’re going on their holiday.”
“and when all the families are in a good mood
They let me hop over and share their food.
I have all I want, so i’m happy to stay
In this car park by the motorway.”
And then it was time to say goodbye
So Sydney spread his wings to fly
And as he did the sun sank low
In the deep red coastal sky.
“Follow the sun” his Grandpa had said
At last it all made sense
“but if you prefer you could just follow me”
Screamed a seagull perched on a fence.
The seagull leaned back and let out a shriek
And four other seagulls joined in.
Each was a brute with a big sharp beak
And they made an almighty din.
“I’m Sydney” he said “and my dearest wish
Is to be a real seagull and catch real fish”
“I’m sorry young gull but our favourite dish
Is served on a tray with a portion of chips
Not following nets on smelly old ships.
Or following lorries to smelly old tips
But we could come with you if you wish
And help you catch your very own fish.”
So Sydney followed his new found friends
To a beautiful moonlit sea.
It felt so very far away from the grey food factory.
He swooped and swerved within the surf
He caught a fish and proved his worth
And joining the gulls at the end of the pier
He couldn’t believe he was finally here.
So he stayed a few days and he stayed few nights
Saw a few seagull squabbles
And a few seagull fights
He watched the gulls as they circled the Sand
Taking pasties And ice cream from unwitting hands
At Sydney felt happy and then he felt glad
But gradually Sydney just felt sad.
He thought of his grandpa and learning to fly
He thought of his mummy and started to cry
He thought of the pigeon, the seagull and the crow.
He thought of the one thing they all seemed to know.
It’s not about the place you live or where you’d like to be
It’s all about just thinking that “I’m happy to be me”
And remembering the factory, his family and his friends
Sydney realised sometimes that it’s better to pretend.
One day he’d be a “seagull” but for now he’d rather play
And maybe come back next year on a seaside holiday.