The Mysterious Seal Rider
Adjacent to Waikiki beach on Kalakaua Avenue, there is a cute statue of a surfer and a monk seal that is “based on a children’s story by Fred Van Dyke honoring Hawaiian values of love and respect for ohana (family) and this ocean.”
As I stood there looking at the statue with my camera in hand, a young boy suddenly jumped in front of me and said— “Lady, could you please take a picture of me riding the seal? Please, can I be in a picture with that seal? Please!”
When I said yes, he quickly ran over to the statue and laid down on the back of the bronze Hawaiian monk seal. As soon as I took his photo, the boy jumped off, said “thank you” with a smile, and disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. Since I did not know who he was (and still do not), he never got to see his photo. Perhaps he was a wandering Menehune?
I didn’t realize until later, when I looked at the image on my computer, that there was magic in that boy’s eyes. His face and his posture show a genuine love and respect for both the seal and the environment around him. A perfect tribute to the children’s book by Mr. Van Dyke.