Vol. 10


Shark Week

1994; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

In Cairns, Australia, June 20, 1994, John, my dad, had paid extra so he could take a scuba diving trip with his friends. A boat took them to the diving spot — the Great Barrier Reef. The boat stopped about 100 miles out to sea. The first dive was called a “controlled shark feed.” It was controlled because two of the scuba instructors had wooden bats. The bats would be used to beat the sharks if they got too close.

When the boat got to the drop-off spot, it anchored. All the divers, including John, jumped into the water. They dove forty feet. When they reached the sea floor, they put their backs against some boulders and sat in a line. That was for safety — they didn’t want sharks to attack them from the back.

After all eight of the divers were ready, the two men on the boat started chumming* the water. When the two men threw in the blood, sharks like black tips and white tips came. These sharks were only five feet long.

Then after a while of black and white tip sharks feeding, a seven-foot bronze whaler came in. It was a dark gray. The smaller white and black tips got scared and swam away.

Then John’s friend elbowed him and pointed to the left. The instructor on the left was pointing behind the boulder. Out of nowhere a nine-foot hammerhead came into the feeding grounds. All of the other sharks were threatened by the hammerhead’s size and swam away.

"Shark Week" - Illustrated by Teagan LeVar: A hammerhead shark swims gracefully up from the ocean depthsThe hammerhead swam around for a while, and then exited behind the boulder. Right after the hammerhead left, the two men on the boat threw in a huge piece of tuna. Of course, it floated down right in front of my dad. He automatically realized that the hammerhead would smell the tuna and come to eat it. He tried kicking the tuna away, but it just floated around in circles like a Ferris wheel. It didn’t help that he was wearing flippers.

The hammerhead had circled back around the boulders and was coming into the feeding ground again. It was hovering over the ocean floor, and that’s when it picked up the smell of the tuna. The hammerhead turned and faced my dad. My dad picked up his feet and was ready to kick the shark. The shark was coming in at full speed and fury. The instructors couldn’t react fast enough to hit the shark with the bats. It was just the shark and my dad.

To my dad’s surprise, the hammerhead stopped and picked up the tuna. It was shaking its head back and forth violently. It was ripping the tuna to shreds. After the hammerhead finished its meal, it gracefully swam away. After, the instructors thought it was getting too dangerous and told everyone to swim up.

When my dad got on the boat, one of the instructors shook his hand and said, “You truly got your money’s worth.”

Zoey King; North Carolina, USA

Illustratror: Teagan LeVar; Missouri, USA


* Chum means to put fish parts or blood into water in order to attract fish.


This copyrighted story and illustration may be copied for limited classroom use or reprinted in an article about The Grannie Annie.


Return to Vol. 10 Stories page



Built by Hen's Teeth Network