Yesterday I played hooky and went to the beach. It was a little windy and the water smelled a little funky but still a nice day overall.
I was out at Jacob Riis which was surprisingly empty, it may have been a Wednesday but it was also still mid July. There were a couple of life guards and few scattered groups of people. There was also a reasonably sized dead fish, looked a little like a baby shark.
It most just sat there until a family showed up. At that point the kids found it and started examining it. Then they started playing with it; first they buried it, then they dug it up, then they poured water on the fishy corpse, then they picked it up by its dorsal fin and chase each other with it. After a while they would lose interest and run around doing kids at the beach stuff.. But they always returned to the dead fish.
Once the kids broke the taboo of dead fish play others started doing it also. Adults. Adults would walk up to the dead fish and pick it up, usually waving it at whoever they were with. This happened several times.
It was all more than a little strange. I know that when I was a kid I shied away from playing with carrion, as I continue to.