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A Sharky Night

By Mason Colby 2 months ago
Categories Mahe and Curieuse

A swift and steady pace we take

To make it to the mangrove planks

Donning nets and gadgets: gear galore!

We shuffle ‘round about the shore.

Warm water laps against our knees

And we need speak in only whispers

As we wait quietly in the murky blue pond.

 

We spoke as we approached this place

On trodden paths, a Curieuse space

Of our predictions for this journey

We all thought, ‘we needn’t worry’

No way these nets will catch a shark

Let’s all head back before its dark

But onward and inward we did venture

Through an opening in the mangroves we found our place among the shallows.

 

The turtle pond at twilight brings deep purple and orange to tired eyes

As sunlight leaves the islands sleeping, stars and moon illuminate the sky

A lonely fruit bat flies overhead while night frogs begin their cries

This group of volunteers stands silently with no hope of being dry.

And yet, we find ourselves at peace with this environment.

 

Despite the interesting conditions

The night disproved our inhibitions

For as the stars began to shine

We realized where we were was fine

In fact this place we live is great

I’ve clothes on my back and food on my plate

It’s guaranteed, back at the camp

I’ll make it back with my headlamp

For now I’ll look up at the stars

Orion’s belt, the Southern Cross

Oh look! There’s Jupiter, above the moon

Do we really have to go back so soon?

This place is different in the night

It’s not as hot, it’s not as bright

And wildlife wakes up to roam the waters right beneath my feet.

 

An hour passes in this way

No lemon sharks have come to play

But in this hour we’ve seen a lot

The same Job fish was four times caught.

I’ll never forget that baby sea turtle

As he swam so casually next to us

A floating bundle of hawksbill joy

Looked as if he was a toy

And so casually did he float

With flippers tucked, a tiny boat

So rare to see when it’s this dark

But will we ever see a shark?

 

LEMON! Shout the volunteers so far away

And our response is a bit delayed

Really? Truly? A Lemon shark?

They must be joking around.

But twice more did we hear the call

And in a flash we were on the ball

We hurriedly gathered up our nets

And quickly started making bets

On how large this lemon shark might be

And if it could have wriggled free

But as we approach testing station they dropped a shark with jubilation into a tank.

 

We quickly begin performing tests

Implant the tag, you know the rest

Just DNA, bellybutton, and scarring

Gender (female), length and color

The finishing touch, just take a picture

Everyone feel the shark’s exterior.

As quickly as the shark was brought

We have to release it, so we are taught

And so the brave team runs to the pond

To release the shark before we grow too fond

And after hours of anticipation our hearts are filled with wondrous elation

To catch and tag a shark was our dream

It would’ve been impossible without this team

So now I think it’s only right

To thank you all for this sharky night.

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