“It’s good to travel. You never know who you’ll meet,” Dad used to say. We took his advice to heart and set out to explore the ocean. Perhaps we hoped deep inside that it would heal all the wounds we had suffered during our short lives. The grey fish with her crazy ideas joined us. Her name was Margot.
We headed to the cold waters where we came across the Walruses. There were hundreds of them. They swam clumsily among pieces of melting ice.
“Hello Walruses!” we greeted them.
A few of them turned around, waving at us with their fat flippers.
They were climbing on to a small floe. I peered out of the water and saw them crowded together. They waved their long white tusks, fighting for every bit of space.
I noticed a female Walrus with her baby. She was swimming around carefully, looking exhausted. She tried to climb on to the floe, but the other Walruses chased her away. She tried again, still without success. And then again. They didn’t let her get on to it. Suddenly, her baby started to sink into the dark depths of the ocean.
The female Walrus darted after it.
She tried to support it, but she was too weak herself.
She had to abandon her baby.
Atli immediately swam over to them and caught the baby Walrus, while I swam under the exhausted mom, who was then resting on my back.
We carried them for a long time. They were both deadly exhausted. When she woke up, the mother Walrus, whose name was Darna, said:
“There’s no iceberg for us to rest on. When my mom and I travelled the seas, there was ice everywhere. Every Walrus family had enough space. But now everything is melting. There is water everywhere. And those rare pieces of ice are usually occupied by strong males and their families,” she looked at her sleeping baby.
“What can I do? I’ve already lost one. A bear caught it. But that happens. Bears also need to feed their young. But they also practically have nowhere to go. It’s getting warm. If it goes on this way ...”
“I’m sorry about your situation, Darna,” I said.
Her daughter woke up and yawned, still tired. She became a bit scared when she found that Atli was carrying her on her back.
We carried them to a small deserted iceberg.
“Thank you very much, Lupin and Atli. You saved our lives. I’ll never forget that.”
Darna waved her flipper and we continued on our way.
“Poor Walruses,” I said to my companions.
“If it goes on this way, we won’t see any Walruses soon,” Atli sighed.
“My teacher, the old Turtle from Turtle Rock, said that a lot of animate beings have perished in her lifetime. ‘Great shame!’ she kept saying, ‘they had been evolving for millions of years and then just suddenly disappeared like the surge of a wave.’”
‘Like the surge of a wave’ remained in my mind.