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Olsen and the gull

Olsen and the gull

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Published by Brian Salmi
olsen, a dim-witted sailor, is marooned on a bleak island with only seagull eggs to eat.

a talking seagull, with other extraordinary powers, attempts to dissuade the moron from eating the eggs
olsen, a dim-witted sailor, is marooned on a bleak island with only seagull eggs to eat.

a talking seagull, with other extraordinary powers, attempts to dissuade the moron from eating the eggs

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Published by: Brian Salmi on Jun 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/16/2014

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The connection between bears and gulls may not be at onceapparent, but it's there good people; it's
there.
Eric St. Clair isperhaps the leading American writer of children's stories aboutbears, having sold close to 100 of them; and has had a rather limited range of occupation sstatistician, social worker,horticulturalist and shipfitter. He is now a laboratory assistant inthe University of California's Physics Department, at Berkeley.His wife is well-known as a Science Fiction writer, both asMargaret St. Clair and Idris Seabright. "My first sale in thegenre," he says of this story; "though not much Science Fiction . .. no space warp, nobody named Xalff." Seems to have done allright without them, though.OLSEN AND THE GULLby Eric St. Clair ONE HOT AFTERNOON, some five months after he had beencast away on the island, Olsen found out how to run the weather. A gull told him how.There wasn't a thing on the island except gulls and their nests
millions of each
and the place was knee-deep with guano. Any other man, five months alone, hundreds of miles off theshipping lanes, might have gone crazy.Not Olsen, though. He lacked what it takes to go crazy with.He chased gulls by the hour, yelling at them because they couldfly away any time they liked, while he couldn't
but he never talked to them in a conversational way. Nor did he talk to himself.Olsen, a man of few words and even fewer ideas, had nothingto say. As a pastime, for amusement, he kicked the gulls' nests about,and trampled their eggs. True, the eggs were his sole food
but
 
how he detested them! They were foul and rank and fishy, andthe rainwater he sometimes found to drink them down with alwaysreeked with guano. There were millions of eggs; gladly hetrampled them!On this particular afternoon Olsen trampled eggs in time to achant he had made up, "Tromp tromp trompl" and he was eggy upto his knees. He was neither sad nor happy about it; he justtrampled and bellowed because it seemed the thing to do. A gray gull swooped down, landed, and stepped daintily towardhim on its pretty little pink legs."Olsen," said the gull.Olsen's bellowing died away. His trampling stopped. His mouthfell open. "Hoo?" he said. "Hawm? Now I have gone crazy.""Very likely you have," said the gull. "But pull yourself together,Olsen. I propose to do you a favor."Olsen's mind, never a quick one, remained motionless."You're a fine fellow, Olsen," the gull went on, "and we all thinkthe world of you
but couldn't you be just a little more carefulwith our nests?" The gull eyed Olsen's eggy legs with some sortof expression: a gull's face being the type it is, it's hard to tell just what might be on its mind."Well hey," said Olsen in his own defense. "If you
""What you need," the gull said, "is something to take your attention away from damaging our nests. Wholesomerecreation
"
 
"Burlesque shows!" breathed Olsen beatifically."Not quite," the gull said. "I have something different in mind.Now observe
" the gull hauled a length of stout twine from under its wing
"with this bit of twine (and the age-old wisdom I shallimpart to you) you can build a cat's cradle that will raise thestorm, or quiet it, whenever you feel like it. You can run theweather. My!" the gull said heartily, "won't that be
fun!" 
"I guess so," said Olsen. "But
""The power, Olsen! Think of it!" the gull cried ringingly. "Thegrandeur of the primeval storm! The roar of the white-crestedseas that you can raise! The typhoon screaming, sheets of peltingrain, jagged lightning, the boom of thunder 
at
your 
call, Olsen!""No strippers?" said Olsen. "No fanny dancers?"Not troubling to reply to this, the gull thereupon taught Olsenthe art of constructing such a cat's cradle as would constrain theweather into obeying his, Olsen's, slightest whim. And Olsen found it sort of interesting. He tried a typhoon, awaterspout, a
but Olsen's mind was pretty limited. His slightestwhim was indeed slight. He tried and tried, and after three days,he thought of doing some St. Elmo's Fire with his cat's cradle.Then his ideas ran out.The gulls, meanwhile, had been repairing nests, and layingnew eggs. They hadn't much time for this, though, before Olsengot bored with the weather. One storm is pretty much like another,especially with a dull fellow like Olsen in charge
a spot of rain, a bit of wind, what's so wonderful about that?

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