Our encounter with the Otters was very encouraging, just as it had been with Paul the Seal. Moreover, Marlene had mentioned Dolphins and I’d always loved watching them. Whether young or grown-up, they are always playful, enjoying life.
It seemed to me as if we were in a different ocean than at the beginning of our journey. Yet, the water remained salty and the depths endless.
It didn’t take long before we saw the first Dolphin. And another one. And another one.
But they were just simply swimming. “Maybe they’re tired,” I thought when we watched them, surprised.
We followed their trail.
In a short while, Dolphins surrounded us on all sides.
However, they were not playing or laughing. And that’s unusual for them.
They started to slow down and lined up at a rock.
We were curious and addressed one of them.
“Hello, Dolphin. How are you today?” Margot asked.
“My daughter is dying,” he snapped. “How should I feel?”
“Oh, I’m sorry ... I didn’t know that,” Margot stammered. “I’m very sorry, Sir.”
But the Dolphin had already disappeared among the rest.
“Hello,” another one swam up to us. “Please excuse my brother. My little niece, his daughter, doesn’t look well. We’ve gathered here to hope for her recovery.”
“Oh no, we’re very sorry. Is there anything we can do?”
“I’m afraid not. We can only hope. But you’re welcome here. Have a rest, please.”
We felt terrible, because we had arrived there laughing and excited to see playful Dolphins.
But nobody was playing. They weren’t surfing the waves, as they often do. Nobody was leaping out of the water.
They were just swimming around sadly, hoping for the recovery of one of their family members.
We decided to stay for the night and to assist them if they needed anything.
Most of the creatures around us were asleep, but I couldn’t go to sleep. My thoughts wouldn’t allow it.
I was watching the mother awake with her sick baby.
“How much I miss you, Mom and Dad,” I whispered into the empty space.
“You, too, lost your parents?” I heard a familiar voice behind me. It was the father of the dying baby.
“Good evening,” I blurted out.
“It’s quite common these days,” he continued. “I lost my parents, too. And my wife lost hers, too. It happened when we were both very young. Those were hard times. But eventually, the absence of family made us so close that we’ve become one body.”
We kept silent for a while.
“But nobody should lose their baby! It’s not right,” he shook his head.
I didn’t know what to say. I felt so sorry for both of them.
“Can I ... can I ...”
“What is it, my boy? You can ask.”
“What happened to your daughter?”
“Nobody knows exactly. But I have a theory, my boy. We, Dolphins, are not dumb fish. All we need to do is look around, ask the birds and put things into context.”
He noticed my questioning look and continued: “When those upright creatures throw their trash into the water, I noticed that it breaks into pieces over time. Small fish with small brains eat them without hesitation. Bigger fish then eat the small fish. And we? We must eat as well. So, we eat the bigger fish. But their meat is acidic and poisoned. Which means that the milk of my wife is poisoned as well. The weak organism of a baby Dolphin has no chance of winning.”
“I can see you’re shocked.”
“Yes, well, don’t get angry, but you’re saying it in a strangely calm way.”
“That’s because I’ve already been through it. My wife and I lost our son. He was one year old. And our Lily is just half a year old.”
“I’m very sorry. You can’t even imagine how sorry I am, Sir.”
“My name is Niel. What’s your name, my boy?”
“I’d like to introduce you to my daughter and wife, Lupin. I like you.”
“Thank you, Niel ... I am excited to meet them.”
We swam to the rock. Everything was silent. Only the faint cry of exhausted Lily was heard.
“Look, Lily, look at Uncle Lupin. He’s huge, isn’t he?”
Baby Lily looked at me with sad eyes, from which the life seemed to be slipping away.
Niel’s wife nodded at me silently. Despite all the despair, she was trying to be strong.
“Hello, Lily,” my voice trembled. It was the saddest sight I’d ever seen.
Little Lily was pale and shaking, her belly bloated and her mouth open, as is typical of dying animals.
I stayed with them all night.
With the first rays of the sun, Lily stopped breathing. She was dead.