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The Sick Shark

by Hal Sirowitz

A sick shark landed on the shore.

There was a crowd around him.

He was still thrashing about. No one

got too near him, except for a boy who

kept poking the shark with a stick. ‘Leave

that poor shark alone,’ someone cried out.

‘Let him die in peace.’ ‘I’m just

deactivating his killer instincts, so

he doesn’t roll over and take another

victim. Didn’t you see Jaws and Jaws Two.’

‘He’s only a baby,’ the bystander said.

‘Are you responsible for the bad things

your parents might have done?’ The boy

threw away the stick, because he knew

he could not use it anymore. The bystander

grabbed the shark by the head. Another person

held on to the tail. A third person held

the shark’s stomach. They carried the shark

beyond the waves, and urged him to swim away.