The death of little Lily affected the entire community, including us. The ocean was sad.
I barely ate or slept for the following days and nights. I could still see the small lifeless body in my mind.
The older I was, the more hurt I became by all our past encounters. I thought about the Walrus with her exhausted baby, how they were looking for an ice floe on which to rest. And about the sad story of Rick and Mick, the Tuna brothers. Sharks without fins dropping to the seabed. A capsized ship with all those things in the ocean.
I wished to be a baby again, at least for a while. Completely carefree, playing from sunrise to sunset. And then falling asleep with my mum and dad.
At least just one day like that.
What a shame that it wasn’t possible.
But I had a new family – Atli and Margot. And a lot of new friends.
This was probably what life was all about – animate beings come and go. One day, I’d go too and would be replaced by someone else. Or, as Dad used to say, my soul wouldn’t be happy in my body anymore and would decide to move to a better place.
I’d love to ask Dad many things. I thought he had wanted to tell me a lot more than he had managed to do.
Maybe I’d ask him one day. Maybe I’d meet his soul in a different body. I wondered if I’d recognise him and if he’d recognise me.
But first things first.
We swam through the empty waters and didn’t talk much. We were still affected by the recent events and all three of us tried to cope with it in our own way.
“I’m looking forward to Coral City,” Atli said one day. “All the colours ... It will surely be a happy place.”
Margot’s face lit up. “You bet, my dear Blue Whale friend. You’ll see shades you’ve never dreamt of. And the number of creatures that you’ll see ... You’ll fall in love with the City, too, Lupin. It’s Heaven on Earth. You’ll soon see. I can feel we’re not far away.”
“But also, not close,” Atli laughed.
“I’m not saying that. But everything’s possible.”
“What do you think, Lupin?” Atli poked me.
The sight of their smiles made me feel good.
“I think that you’re both right.”
We all burst out laughing.
“Do you remember Paul the Seal?”
“Of course, Atli. How he stared at Margot. That was something.”
“I just wanted to say that. Did you notice, Margot, how he was peering at you?”
“You jokers, he wanted to eat me.”
“You’re simply a dishy fish!”
“Haha. What would you do without your guide?”
“We’d be completely lost,” I smiled.
“Just like we are now,” Atli whispered.
“Listen, Blue Whales, I can hear you!”
“We’re teasing you, dear fish. We’d be like whales without fins, without you.”
“Alright, alright. I’ll try to believe you. But you know how it goes, you swim with ...“
“Margot! Watch out!”
I warned her too late. Immersed in our conversation, we were not really looking ahead, but rather at each other. Margot, who as our guide was in front, bumped into a huge giant.
There was a muffled smack.
These were our distant relatives – Sperm Whales.
They were sleeping in the mysterious endless blue water. Some with their heads pointing downwards, others with their heads pointing upwards. But all of them in a relaxed vertical position.
Margot cried out and hid behind us.
“What’s that? Who is it?”
“Sperm Whales, Margot,” I calmed her down.
“But what are they doing?”
“But why are they upside down?”
“They feel good like that.”
“The Turtle once mentioned them. But I’ve never seen them before.”
“Well, and today you’ve even touched one. But don’t worry, they’re sleeping tight. We’ll carefully swim around them and go on our way,” Atli said, already working her way around them.
“Wait, Atli,” I stopped her. “I’d actually like to ask them something.”
“Alright. But you don’t want to wake them up, do you?”
“No way. I’ve heard about their bad moods when somebody disturbs their sleep. We’ll have to wait for them.”
And so we waited.
“Do you remember, Lupi, when I spoke about a baby? That it was pointless bringing it into such waters?”
I turned to Atli. Margot meanwhile was swimming among the Sperm Whales, from one to the next, studying them with interest.
“Despite the sad thing that happened to the Dolphins, it’d be a mistake to think like that. Maybe they showed me that we mustn’t give up. They lost a baby but tried with another one. Unfortunately, they lost Lily, too.
“After such a tragedy, many creatures would collapse. But when we were leaving them, I noticed that, besides sadness, there was also strength, courage and hope in their eyes. I’m certain they’ll try again. And that’s good. Otherwise we, the residents of the oceans and seas, would soon die out.”
We pressed against each other as two halves creating a whole.
The Sperm Whales slept for a long time. Even Margot lost interest in time and joined us.
“Sorry, but what are we actually waiting for?”
“Lupin wants to ask them something,” Atli replied. “Are you in a hurry?”
“Not at all. I was just thinking that maybe he could ask me. I know a lot of things.”
“Alright, Margot,” I smiled at her, “my question is: How can you hunt at such great depths, where even the strongest light rays don’t reach?”
“Well, that’s ... a really interesting question, Lupin. I ... well ... you’ll have to ask them,” she grinned.
And just as she said it, the first Sperm Whale woke up.
He swam to the surface without a word.
The others followed him.
They gathered around and swam towards us.
“Hello, Blue Whales,” one of them said. “How can we help you?”
I asked them my question.
“So, you’d like to know how we can hunt in depths that are inaccessible to ordinary creatures? Then watch this.”
One by one, they took several deep breaths, curved their bodies and dived into the deep.
I swam next to them. They were very focused.
The water was getting darker and darker and I knew I couldn’t swim any further.
The Sperm Whale winked at me. His eyes shone with certainty.
They speeded up.
And I turned back.
Maybe Dad would have kept pace with them. But not I. I wasn’t used to that.
“Did you learn what you came for?” Margot grimaced at me after I reached the surface with my last strength, took a deep breath and fell back into the water.
“I found out that they’re different. They’re the masters.”