The seal was lying on the beach, motionless. Is it dead? No: a wave rolled in and it mustered just enough strength to lift its snout out of the water. Its eyes were closed and its breathing was laboured. But it had fight: each time a wave arrived, it repeated the feeble attempt to stay alive. In between sets, it returned its head to the sand. With the tide on its way up, the seal had mere hours to live.
I stood by it for a few moments and though about what to do. Superman would have reversed the rotation of the earth, changing the pattern of the tides. Despite my magic harmonica, I’m not Superman: some powers are beyond us. I crouched quietly beside it for a few moments and then moved on.