Late for Dinner

Five otters were near the mouth of the Ho river. Two adults were on the bank beneath some trees. One of them had caught a large trout. Frolicking in the fast, turbulent current, their three half-grown kits could not be coaxed out of the water.

One of the adults picked up the fish and dropped it in clear sight along the edge of the bank. A pileated woodpecker hammered away in the deep woods. A raccoon, washing something on a nearby sandbar, was observing the scene with interest. Still the youngsters would not come out of the water. They continued to frolic.

So the adults began eating the fish themselves. Suddenly their young ones were upon them, scrambling hurriedly up the bank, tumbling over one another. But little of the meal remained. The sleek adults slipped quietly into the river, while their young sniffed about for overlooked morsels.

Copyright 2013 George Lowell Tollefson

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