A Manatee Said “Hi” to Me

A manatee said “hi” to me.
She was swimming one lane over from me.
She had on a suit, and proper goggles
So none of the humans her body would ogle.




We paddled along, sidewise eyeing each other,
She reminded me vaguely of someone or other.
The chubby young lass from my first grade class
who picked at her, uh, seat, while she knelt at Mass?


After we were done, to make her day complete
I offered to take her out for a treat;
We got in the car, turned onto the street,
and I wondered—what exactly do manatees eat?



So I asked her, as politely as I could’ve
although perhaps more directly than I should’ve
“What is it you manatees like to chow down on?”
It was then that she put a big manatee frown on.



“You don’t know the struggles I have with my weight!”
she said as she sobbed at a manatee’s fate.
“I eat nothing but vegetables; acorns, hydrilla–
turtle grass, algae—no cheese quesadillas!”

“Yet with all that dieting, and swimming all day,
you’d think I ate nothing but whipped cream parfaits!”
I pulled the car over and tried to console her,
but at more than a ton, it was hard to control her.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “I just wasn’t thinking.
I’m sure diet soft drinks are what you’ve been drinking.
You’re actually quite svelte for your 2,000 pounds.
Slow-moving, yes—but you must get around.”

Her eyes dried a bit, and she stopped with her sniveling.
She gave me a smile, and her hips started swiveling.
She held out her fins, said “You’re awfully kind.
Just the sort of human that I’ve had in mind.”


I stopped her right there, and said “Let’s go no further,”
Recalling advice I’d heard from my mother:
“In addition not to take candy from strangers
I don’t want you dating any species that’s endangered.”

Moral: Even a slow-moving creature can be a fast girl.


7 thoughts on “A Manatee Said “Hi” to Me

    1. Thanks. Not sure I want to put “swim with manatees” on my bucket list–but I’m thinking about it.

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