Today we have a little seal simply because he looked adorable and I wanted to sketch him. Also, Philippe is currently watching a French television series about a zoo and I keep seeing segments with cute seals getting hugs from their trainers. This, of course, is not a recommended behavior in the wild, since they have rather large teeth, but it’s certainly fun to watch. And I get a bit jealous really so I often have to look away. As if that weren’t enough, I just happened to see a video clip from a couple of years ago of a seal on a beach in southern France who lumbers across the sand to hug a dog. It’s impossibly cute. So, it just had to be a seal today, albeit scribbled rather quickly with four colors as I ran out of time. That explains the sketch, but the story seems a little thin as it appears we’re starting out with a simple, “I like hugs and seals, and wish I could hug one.” I guess this should end with me getting my wish, but since it hasn’t happened yet, that won’t quite be how this story ends.
When I was little, going to see the seals perform at the local zoo was a total highlight of the trip. In fact, I would want to plan our entire day around them so I didn’t miss the show. I’m not entirely sure what I found so fascinating, but it just seemed incredible that they could perform tricks like that. Or maybe it was because I was never a good swimmer and so their amazing underwater prowess greatly impressed me. Whatever the reason, seals and more specifically, a seal performance, was a required part going to the zoo. As I grew up, I never did manage to become a good swimmer, but I did end up becoming a performer for a period of time, so perhaps the seals inspired me after all. These were actually paid acting jobs, by the way, and I didn’t work for raw fish. Just to be clear. But the idea of performing is the same, at least.
So many things in nature fascinate me and I’m never sure if man’s interaction with it is truly the way nature intended. I’m also not sure if seals actually enjoy performing or not. Perhaps they’d prefer something else, like writing a novel or learning how to program an iPhone app. But their trainers will make them wave at people and jump through hoops instead, which could be totally humiliating if a life in showbiz isn’t what you really wanted. What do seals dream about doing? Something more, I suspect, as do the rest of us. Having a dream come true is a very rare thing, but the simple act of dreaming is enough to make it all worthwile. No matter what happens in life, I’m just glad that I still have my dreams. The big ones that seem like they could never possibly happen and even the small ones. The thought that one day, if nothing else, I might actually find myself hugging a seal.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!