One day, after a long journey, we met a lonely Seal as we were having our tasty breakfast. He looked old and tired.
“Hello, Seal,” we greeted him.
“Good morning, gang, where’re you off to?” the Seal asked in a surprisingly young voice.
“We’re swimming to Coral City,” Margot replied.
“I’ve never heard of it.”
“That’s OK,” Atli smiled. “We’re still going there.”
“Alright, alright. My name is Paul and I’m one of the oldest Seals in these waters.”
“Really?” I was surprised.
“You bet, lad. I know – I don’t look it. I used to have an older brother, but he died just recently. So I finally picked up the baton,” Paul gave a laugh.
“Oh, I hope he didn’t get stuck in a net or trash?” Atli asked cautiously.
“Oh yeah, we got stuck, alright. I did just yesterday and my brother too the moment before he exhaled his last breath.”
“What about exactly?” Paul exclaimed.
We were surprised.
“What are you sorry about, Blue Whale?” he focused on me, studying me suspiciously.
“Well, that your brother died in a net,” I managed to say.
“Hahaa, why would he do that?”
“You said that ...”
“Yeah, we got stuck in nets a few times, but we were always rescued by those upright creatures who came on a small boat.
Bah, they act crazy. As if they were watching us. My brother was simply old. Damn it, he should’ve died long ago. I always made fun of him. I said: ‘So when, you old codger? Today?’ He always laughed, the crazy madman. And I laughed too.
“Now I’m having fun alone. It’s not bad either, I won’t lie. I can do anything I please.”
“So they came on a boat and rescued you?” Margot was frowning.
“Sure. Otherwise we would’ve popped off, right?”
“That’s interesting,” I said. “So they help you out of the nets instead of catching you.”
“But that’s not the rule. It wasn’t always like that. They also used to catch us, of course. Everyone hunts or is hunted, you know that. But the times are changing.
“And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s breakfast time. Haven’t you seen a shoal of fish somewhere around? Or at least a single fish?”
“Fish are everywhere around,” Margot replied warily, hiding behind my fin.
“Not anymore, not anymore, young friends. Fish are disappearing. Anyway, what are your names? I’m sorry. I’m talking a blue streak, not letting you introduce yourselves. I was always the chattier one of us brothers.”
“The beauty next to me is Atli. The fish hiding from you is Margot. And I’m Lupin. “
“Nice to meet you, young lads.”
“We’re not that young,” I heard from behind me.
“So, you say that the upright creatures help you?” I wanted to make sure. Mainly because of Atli – it would be good to know that they were not all the same.
“That’s correct. But it’s still good to be careful.
I must tell you, young lads ... When I’m hungry, I become quite a different Seal.”
“We won’t disturb you, Paul. Maybe just to ask you, in what direction is the shore?”
“Straight on and to the right.”
“Thank you. We’ll go to the left then.”
“Go well, gang, and procreate. It’s necessary, isn’t it? I’ll wait here for some stray fish.”
“Goodbye, Paul. Thank you for the information.”
We said goodbye with a smile.
“The first encounter, after which the ocean finally seems bright,” I noted.
“I wouldn’t be so happy, Lupin,” Atli dampened my excitement.
“He said there weren’t fish. And why? They’re getting poisoned, don’t reproduce and ...“
“Let’s swim now!” Margot smiled. “There’s still one fish. And you should cherish her.”
“Margot’s right, Atli. And who knows, maybe those upright creatures are not all bad.”
“I hope you’re right, Lupin. Let’s swim then.”