While enjoying this ideal atmosphere, I heard some muted sounds coming from the far end of the pier. I turned, and there was an adult pelican on the wooden rail with its mouth unable to open due to a thin chain wrapped around its long beak.
I didn’t know what to do, so I helplessly watched the bird struggle.
I hoped that the pelican could free himself somehow and to avoid a potentially lethal entanglement.
A fisherman in a flannel shirt spotted the bird. He put down his fishing rod, threw his fish back into the water, and closed his tackle box.
I could tell that it wasn’t just about being a hero for this man. It was more about a free spirit, bound and trapped. The man couldn’t stand by and do nothing while a living creature was in such a state of panic.
Without hesitation, he sprung into action. He quickly moved toward the suffering pelican on the wooden rail.
I marveled at the man’s display of courage, while I looked on in fear.
He grabbed the bird’s large beak without getting bit, held it tight and, with a penknife in his right hand, cut the chain, unraveling it quickly so the bird would be able to open its mouth again.
By then a large crowd of people had assembled to watch the spectacle.
After the pelican was free of the chain, the man in the flannel shirt stood back, allowing the bird to regain its equilibrium.
In the next instant, the pelican flapped its wings furiously, letting out a guttural bark, pushed off the wooden rail and made its ascension.
Before it flew away, the bird turned toward the man in the flannel shirt and looked down at him and only him.
That was all the man needed.