I saw the shark-net man and his boat laying out the nets and my heart sank. The silhouette in the hard glitter on the first day of the season moved along, dropping the curtain of silver rings in to the deep.
Surf Patrol not yet started, the sea quiet, the beach lonely.
After only two days, the word was out: there is a shark stuck in the shark net!
Kayakers and paddlers, perhaps even swimmers, had seen it there struggling.
Hilariously, the Police were called. There were nine of them, summoned by various phone calls by the distressed paddlers. All had phoned the police.
Seven uniformed policemen stood lined up along the edge of the rock pool and gazed out to sea.
Fur Coat, doing his laps, stopped and leaned a wet elbow on the edge and asked
What ya gonna do about it, mate?
and the constable nearest him answered,
Buggered if I know
Paddlers in their kayaks, looking down as they passed, saw it struggling, caught in the rings. All day and night I am filled with the horrible vision of the shark caught there, wriggling and thrashing. Some say it is a Tiger shark, which puzzles me. All these months the creatures of the sea have had free passage to do as they wish, and now here is this awful obstacle suddenly appearing out of nowhere. Today a shark, tomorrow a turtle or a dolphin.
Naturally people get very emotional about the issue. Anything to do with a shark terrifes all and sundry, but truth is the likelihood of being bitten is so slight.
I dreamed of the shark. I wondered how long it would struggle , bewildered, before dying.
Next day I was drying off after my swim. I mentioned the Tiger Shark to Trumpet., wondering if it were still alive.
Tiger shark? he said. No, it was a Grey Nurse. Oh, the coppers all lined up on the edge, gotta laugh...
Oh, no! a gentle, almost extinct shark, huge and shy....even worse!
But just before tears sprang from my eyes , he said
The Boat crew set it free.
The Boat Crew?
The Boat crew who had been training that evening, had heard about the shark. They had rowed their wooden surfboat out to the nets, lifted the heavy steel with their oars,
untangled the tired shark,which, having been let loose,