Brown pelicans always remind me about men working. The pelicans are like most fathers used to be; silent, distant, weared out after hard manual labour. The brown pelicans never make any sound, exept when crash landing in the sea. They are clumsy and heavy.
The pelicans often fly in teams, without any fuss. They never seem to get upset. It's like everybody knows what the others are doing.
In the Mississippi, or in the lakes, we saw white pelicans with some grace, allthough similar in many other ways. But down in Mobile harbour the pelicans were all brown.
The equality among the boats must be the tug boat. And the brown pelican also liked to sit on the tug boats low gunwales, waiting for work. Other pelicans were gliding like convoys in the fog.
In Grand Isle we had brown pelicans sitting on the wooden poles. These birds seemed old and sun bleached, with a vague resemblance to very old men. They could sit for hours beside our boat, like they were meditating, or wasted. They never seemed to be eating. The long wooden beak was resting down against the curve of the neck. The back of the head was bony and had just a couple of white fluffy feathers.