since I've been a little boy, I've wanted to train seals. My mama used
to take me to the aquarium and I'd watch the seals eat fish, clap their
fins together and bark, like dogs. I love seals,” Eric said.
friend, Hank, sat on the bench next to Eric. “A seal trainer? I thought
you wanted to be a clown. You dress so strange, in bright colors that
always told me that I could be whatever I wanted and dress however I
chose. I like these clothes and my hat too.” Eric adjusted the hat on
his head. The feather bent over and tickled his nose. He blew a puff of
air and it stood up on his hat once again.
I think you look silly. I don't think you can train seals. You should go
to the circus instead,” Hank said. He stood and shook his head at Eric.
“Go to the circus, Eric.”
Hank left, Eric looked in the mirror. “I can too train seals.” He went
down to the aquarium and asked for a job.
in charge took one look at Eric and laughed.”Look at you, Eric. You look
like a clown. Nobody who trains seals looks like you. Go to the circus.”
wiped a tear from his eye. “Please let me try. I'll show you I can do
it. I want to train seals.”
man, Gus, scoffed at Eric. “All right. I'll give you a chance. You can
try to train the seals, but if you can't do it, then you have to promise
to get a job in the circus.”
you, Gus. I'll try.” Eric followed Gus to the seal cage. Ten seals lay
can pick any two seals you want. Which ones will you pick?” Gus opened
the cage doo
looked at the seals. He picked the two smallest ones. “I want those. I
think I can train them.”
first the seals were afraid of Eric. His clothes were bright and not
what they were used to. Eric bent over. “Hello, little seals. My name is
Eric. I want to be your trainer. I love seals.”
seals sensed his sincerity and followed him. Eric led them to the pool.
“Now, I am going to teach you how to play ball with each other.”
watched them for a while and then left.
that day, when it was time to go home, Gus went to find Eric. He was
still at the pool. “Well, show me what you've done,” Gus said.
smiled. He winked at the two seals. “Okay, boys. Show Gus what I taught
you.” The seals tossed balls back and forth from one nose to the other.
They did dives in the pool, clapped their flippers together when Eric
asked, and sang songs. Eric rewarded them with fish.
job, Eric,” Gus said. “I was wrong to judge you by your clothes. You're
the best seal trainer I've ever seen. You're hired. You can have these
two seals and I'll get your two more. Train them well and I'll let you
and them perform at the next Children's Day.”
smiled. He worked hard each day and trained the seals. When Children's
Day came, he dressed in his best costume. When he first went out onto
the stage, everyone laughed, but once they saw how well he'd trained the
seals, they clapped.
weekend Eric and his seals put on the grandest performance the aquarium
had ever known. People came from far away to see the seal trainer who
dressed in circus clothes. Eric didn't mind. He was doing what he loved.