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On Board The Scarlet Macaw

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Part XII | The Scarlet Macaw | Rescue

The Sea

To me it is a blue stone,” Ramo said. “And far away on the edge of it is a small cloud which sits on the stone.”

Clouds do not sit on stones," I said. "On blue ones or black ones or any kind of stones.”

This one does.” Ramo said.

Not on the sea,” I said. “Dolphins sit there, and gulls, and cormorants, and otter, and whales too, but not clouds.”

- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell


Tala, which means "Stalking Wolf," watched from the beach as the sailing ship The Scarlet Macaw sat in the calm, blue water of the island's cove. They must have come to pick her up but she couldn't see any signs of life coming from The Scarlet Macaw. Just then, a trio of the bright scarlet, blue and gold feathered birds cawed loudly above her head as the macaws left the jungle and flew out over the open ocean.

Tala had collected otter skins she packed in bull kelp and was waiting to fill the trunks of the Salt & Sea Company, since the officers had promised the otter skins were worth their weight in gold. Tala had been waiting many months for the ship's arrival and had packed baskets full of water and dried fish for the voyage home, along with her bow and arrows, stone arrowheads, and spears made from elephant seal tusks while she was on the island. As Tala stood watching The Scarlet Macaw in the noonday sun, small figures slowly started to emerge from the ship and made their way down the dock. Tala quickly gathered up her large, woven bag and one of the otter skins so she could negotiate with The Salt & Sea Company over sea passage, otter skins, and anything else she might need on the voyage home.



[1] O'Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins (p. 2). HMH Books. Kindle Edition.

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