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Hennessey Part 14: Twisting Away

Photo Credit: Elias Levy, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Aug 18 2021

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Original Articles

By Anthony Palumbi and Stephen Palumbi

Shooting back and forth in angry sprints, pups forgotten, the predator part of her brain took over and Hennessey arrowed into the dangerous ring, flashing into a scene of unrestrained violence. All around was a thrashing, feeding frenzy by dozens of sharks – each of them flailing at some perceived prey, each of them being pulled in towards the ring of boats where sharp explosions shot pain into their sides, and dug deep holes that bled into the sea.

Now, in front of Hennessey’s eyes loomed an enraging object that oozed compelling taste into the water. It did not look like seal, but it smelled like seal. She couldn’t see the cruel hooks imbedded in the seal mimic, she couldn’t know it was a dangerous fake. She couldn't know this was what her brethren sharks were dying for.


From outside the ring came a different sound, as a small engine raced with a high pitched keening towards the ring of her assailants. The newly arriving boat was soon in the sights of a half dozen guns as it careened in towards the ring. And above the tumult, a desperate cry could be heard, Kinney Austin piloting her small research boat at breakneck speed screaming, “No! No! No! No!” as she crashed her boat into the ring that spelled the death of so many sharks.***

The splintering sounds of the crash knocked Hennessy out of her deadly focus on the baited seal. At the last instant, she veered, twisting away from the enticing morsel. Twisting away from the single bite that would have ended her life.

Gingerly, slowly, Hennessey swam through the quieting ring of death – the human boats in disarray – her mother’s caution in better and better control.

And then somewhere in the calculating part of her brain, her basic predator’s rule came finally back alive. That part of her brain that had kept sharks in ascendance for 400 million years finally ignited.

Was this prey or not prey? That was the foundation of her judgement, of her promise to herself and her legacy. These human machines caused purposeless death. These machines—they had nearly ended her. Her life was in danger. Her pups were in danger.

To start at the beginning of Hennessey's journey, click here


Photo Credit: Elias Levy, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0