Short Story: The river that carried my childhood to the oceans

Description: An autobiography of an endangered animal

Submitted by: Anagha, age 9 years

The first moment I ever remember throughout my life was the day I lay down, curled up into the bottom of a river…my eyes wide open, looking at the beauty of the world.

I was surrounded by my pod. Mother said, "What should we name this young dolphin?" I remember Father uttering, "Angel. Look at her angelic beauty!” Thus, from then I was proclaimed Angel.

Mother fed me delicious milk that helped me grow. Mother spent a lot of time caressing me and helped me learn new tricks. I loved practicing my skills with her. We used to jump and spin out of the water and splash water on each other. Father would join our little game as well! Those were the days! I grew up playing with my childhood friends - Myra and Sam. We all were extremely close to each other. We used to hold races against each other and see who would win!! We used to jump up high into the air and spin down. Our Mother used to watch us in silence, with a smile on her face. Father played with us at times, too!!

Little human children on the banks used to watch our games and cheer us on. They would praise me, "Look at her pearly blue skin and beautiful wide eyes that twinkle like a star. She jumps so swiftly and effortlessly! How I wish I could have her as my pet!" I remember hearing this and blushing. "Thank you!" I muttered. "How she squeals! Do you think she can understand us?" The children asked each other. I couldn't seem to understand! I was talking to them, yet they said I was squealing! I could understand them. Why couldn't they understand me? I had asked Mother the reason for this, but she smiled and shook her head, "It's a wonder, Angel, it's a wonder and always will be!" I was confused for a long time and upset that no one could understand me.

I was looking around the river to see beautiful trees and ponds around. Animals were everywhere! I saw a boy coming this way! A little girl was nearby looking at the pod in wonder. We swam around for her. She giggled, softly. I slowly swam towards her and she touched my soft snout. I rubbed my nose against her hand to show my affection. But before she could talk, the boy threw a stone at me and laughed, loudly. The girl said, "It hasn't done any harm! Dolphins are endangered species and must be taken care of! It’s our responsibility!" The boy grumbled and walked off. The girl winked at me and I smiled back. I'd formed an everlasting friendship.

Joyous days passed with the girl. The both of us would talk and at times, she would fish for me and feed me with different types of tasty fish. One day, as I was glancing out in wait of the little girl, 2 fishermen came by. I rushed off to warn my parents. I didn't want them to be hurt. But by the time I reached home, it was too late. Tears rolled down my cheeks. My parents were being taken away. I saw their helpless eyes filled with fear. Their glance was focused on me "Angel.", they seemed to be saying, "Angel!". I watched, helplessly, as my family was pulled away from me to be used as crab bait. Would I ever see them again?

I burst into tears. Myra and Sam, my best friends were by my side. They whispered comforting words into my ears. Still, I felt as if I was rolling down the path of sorrow. I pushed my friends aside and swam down into the bottom of the river to relive my birth. To relive the memories of my dear parents. I couldn't imagine a world without them. After a while, I rose up for the comfort of the kind girl who had been so loving to me. But she did not come, and my heart told me, 'You'll never see her again.' I drifted back into a lifeless world. I thought again and again about my parents. I thought of that kind girl. My heart sunk into my stomach.

I waited for days, but no one came. But Myra and Sam were always by my side, comforting me. One fine day, I saw the girl again. I gave out a sad sob and Myra and Sam sighed. The girl patted us, as if she could understand our sorrow. My life was never the same, I was an orphan. I didn't have my loving parents. But I wasn't lonely! I had Myra, Sam and that kind human girl. I enjoyed their friendship.

Months passed by and a factory was built near our river. It was a great difficulty for us. It was hard to breathe under the river and when the people emptied the waste into the river, my life was living hell. My friends started leaving their spot and travelled far away to the end of the river. Myra and Sam couldn't bear it too. They were about to leave. I couldn't lose my friends and had to leave my home. My loving home where I was born. The place where my dear parents lived. I buried my memories of the little girl in the sand and let go of my happy memories. I travelled away to another land with Myra and Sam.

I wish humans would realize that the Earth is for us all. I wish they'd understand the pain they cause to us. I want to breathe fresh air back in my home, but when will humans understand? I want to breathe the scent of freedom as it flies about around me. I want to be free and happy and meet that little girl who changed my life forever, yet I don't know her name. Will my wishes be fulfilled, or will they remain just as wishes and dreams trapped in a bottle, forever?

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