WE HERE at the Fictionarium: South Florida Campus certainly do encounter quite a lot of wildlife’s finest – sharks, foxes, egrets, not to mention the most loathsome fauna of them all, the feral iguana. Unfortunately, seeing something and getting people to believe that you saw something are two different matters entirely. And so, yesterday, when I saw a telltale, slow-moving brown mass drifting near the shore, I called my father over to the window.Me: It’s a manatee!
Me: Over there!
Dad: I don’t see anything.
Me: (pointing) That telltale, slow-moving brown mass drifting near the shore!
Dad: Oh, yes… I see… something… But are you sure it’s a manatee? Aren’t manatees freshwater?
Me: Obviously they aren’t if one’s swimming in the ocean.
Dad: Well, you should go and take a picture of it.
Dad: Of the slow-moving brown mass!
Me: You mean the manatee?
Dad: Whatever it might be… It’s slow-moving, so you’ll be able to catch up with it!
About five minutes more of this, and I was running down the beach, goggles and underwater camera in hand, as part of an attempt to capture the North Atlantic’s bovine on film. Some of the pictures aren’t fantastic, but the final image in the series will, I believe, confirm any future of my sightings of the aquatic kind – even when they’re simply just out the window.