The Pelican

by Kristen Dorsey. 0 Comments

He flew directly toward me, as though planning to crash-land on my head. His wingspan was huge, and he was coming in fast. The primal instinct that lives within and just under the surface told me to move away, to fling up my arms and guard myself from this huge bird. Another part of me sensed no harm in his intention, in that split second of decision…

I threw up my chin and opened my chest area to him, expressing my awareness and sending waves of welcoming, awestruck energy from my heart. He braked in mid-air and landed on the railing of the pier several feet from me and my companion. He landed facing me, and he stayed that way through the rest of the encounter. There were plenty of other places for him to land; the dock wasn’t particularly crowded with people or other birds.


My companion and I were in Florida for a weekend this past March, escaping the harsh cold of Winter. We were preparing to return home, spending the last few precious hours of sunshine strolling the dock and enjoying the breeze. My companion had been standing to my left, but stepped away to take this picture of the encounter.

The pelican and I stood looking directly at each other. I greeted him with soft words and extended my energy body toward him. Extending one’s energy body is a Universal way of welcoming other beings- it is similar to a handshake. And, like a handshake, I simply extend the offer, while I wait for the response.

As I spoke softly to him with my words and energy, he gazed directly at me with his shiny brown eyes and responded by rapidly opening and closing his beak with small movements that made a gentle clicking sound. I continued to watch him with curiosity, wondering why he decided to commune with me in such a deliberate way. My companion had moved away- in nervousness or perhaps to be able to observe- I am not sure which.

I noticed then that the Pelican was trembling slightly, and holding up his foot. There was a large fish hook embedded in the webbing of his foot, and it was very clearly hurting him. “Ooooooh”, I said softly. “You are in pain.” He clicked his beak and wobbled his head a bit, still looking directly at me.

Noticing the fish hook

Noticing the fish hook

Then began many moments of negotiation with the Pelican, where he and I truly attempted to cross the bridge of instinct that separated us. When I communicate with animals (and some people as well) I send images and feelings, which are part of the Universal language all entities share. I really wanted to reach out and cross the small three feet of space that separated us, so that I could remove that fish hook from his upheld foot.

We tried. I sent the image of me leaning forward, ever so slowly, extending my arm, and using my clever digits to grasp that fish hook. I showed him that it would cause pain when I removed it. I showed him my fear, too, that he would hurt me with his huge wings and beak. I apologized for the fish hook, knowing that it was my kind from whom the injury occurred, intentional or otherwise.

He looked back at me, chattering his beak intermittently, gazing away and then back again. I felt him consider and want what I offered. I felt the hot pain in his foot and the exhaustion from not being able to put weight on it. I felt his hunger. I felt his immense resistance toward me in the form of survival instinct. I asked him to take the first step, please, by moving a little closer. “Just a few inches” I said with my intention. “If you can do that, I will see it as consent and try to remove the hook”.

We just couldn’t bridge the gap. We both tried. That three feet between us was filled with too much. It wasn’t just him, either. I am also a creature of instinct. My eyes are tearing up now as I write about it. I think we could have gotten there eventually if time had been on our side. But I had a plane to catch, and a bewildered companion to think about. I was very aware of my companion’s energy, pressing against me, wondering what I was doing. Feeling concern for my safety. Being conscious of the time. And perhaps even feeling a little embarrassed, as I conversed with that great bird while people walked by.

In the end, the pelican and I negotiated energy work. I raised the palms of my hands slowly, holding them softly to imply no threat. Then I inched forward until I hit the energetic boundary of his “no further, or I must leave” edge. I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply, connecting to All That Is, gathering the abundant and freely available energy of Life, and breathed it out toward his foot.

I breathed relief of pain. I breathed an energy ring around the place where the fish hook penetrated his webbing. I breathed protection from infection. I breathed relaxation and rejuvenation for his trembling body. As I did this, my sweet friend lay down on his chest, resting, with his foot hanging over the edge of the railing. His eyes drooped a bit, and we both felt the safety and trust of our negotiation.

As I have said in past posts, animals receive energy well and very quickly. Soon we were done. Before I left him, I sent a final intention and request that the fish hook work itself out without further damage or pain to my friend. And I made one last offer to reach out and physically remove the hook. He remained on his chest, resting quietly. “OK” I said to him with my intention. “I am walking now to the land end of this pier. If you change your mind, come find me.”

I wish him well and think of him often. I am so grateful for the honor of his recognition of me and for our amazing encounter. I’m a lucky woman. Please visit me on the web at for additional information on energy work and shamanism.


Pelican holding up his injured foot


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