• “Who do you thank when you have such luck?”

    A boy in Florida watched an old man on an evening in the 1970s. He was sitting by a pier, just before sundown. The old man came strolling along the beach and walked out to the end of the pier, holding a bucket and looking out across the water. The sun was a huge orange, low down on the sea and ready to disappear, casting a golden bronze glow across the water. There was nobody much about, apart from the boy and a few joggers on the beach. The old man looked up.

    Far above him, up in the sky, a thousand white dots, screeching and squawking, winged toward the end of the pier. Before long he was surrounded by seagulls, fluttering and flapping wildly. The old man wasn’t just unfazed by it all. He called out to them, and he smiled, and reached into his bucket. And for the next few minutes, he threw shrimp to the seagulls, who flapped and squawked and beat each other to the food.

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