“Their [referring to otters’, but for me, includes all marine mammals] and our ancestors came out of the water, and the otters went back. The return wasn’t complete, this makes them more accessible to me…” [1]

Author note: I believe that marine mammals are connected to us, despite living in conditions we could never live in. Our ancestors came out from the water, and they all went back, so in a way, I feel like I also went back to the sea as well.

tumblr_mn9l9f0qi91qk63ngo2_250

I woke up. I looked around, but they were gone. I made my calls, just as I did every morning, as loud as I could, hoping maybe one day I could join them again. It was mornings like these that reminded me of how easily one could lose it all [2].

rw-113.jpg

I began to swim faster, getting close to the coast, eyeing anything that could be my breakfast. I swam around the rocky coast, observing the green giants that stand guard on the mainland. Seal Lions. They were laying down, resting. Their young splashed in the water, unaware of my presence. I had seen my father do this once, and the whole pod agreed it was quite a feat. That was back when I was still a young calf.

The seal pups began to go into deeper waters, away from the coast, I know they had not sensed me, but since I was approaching, I knew I would have to submerge entirely. I saw him do it once, so I am unsure of how my version of the hunting trick will work, but it is my legacy, as all my hunting skills are [3]. I felt the water rush up against my skin, my dorsal fin being tugged back with how fast I was going. Soon, I clearly saw the pups’ legs, but they already started sensing something approaching, so they began to splash their way back to the coast. I could hear the seals barking at their young, such annoying sounds. I felt the rush of the wave, aiding me in my hunt. Soon, the sand was grazing my skin, and I grabbed onto a seal’s tail, and I knew it was done. The wave began to retract, and I bit into the bottom part of the seal’s body, holding firmly onto the pup as the wave pushed me back into the water. Before submerging, I kept hearing the cries of the pup’s mother. I never understood prey mentality. I need to live too, even if I am all alone and finding my reason to exist [4].

orca-focas

The pup had died during my final bite, so I was just trying enjoying my food, using my teeth to divide the sections. Usually after the hunt, the pod would help tear the prey apart, in equal portions for all. As I remembered this, I began struggling to tear the meat, and so I began to thrash it, hoping it would make it easier. It just got messier. The red bled into the water, fogging the area around me, and spilling into the ocean the metallic flavor my tongue was so used to tasting.

tumblr_o5i9q7bzcr1tis21po1_400

After I finished my meal, I swam along the coast, getting lost in my lonely thoughts. Every time I needed to breathe, I came up and expelled water out through my blowhole. The cool mist of the expelled water chilled my skin as I swam. The mainland’s green giants would follow the breeze of the ocean, flowing in different directions. During one of my breaths, I noticed a different giant. It was a giant of different colors, and it reminded me of my pod. Every time I remembered my separation from them, I felt lonelier and lonelier. My brother once told me that a lone whale is a dead whale. I never knew that loneliness and lack of social interaction would be my death. I swam back to look at the curious giant again, and wondered who could have put that giant there. It seemed like a sign, was I not the only lone killer whale?

killer-whale-totem-pole-carcross-yukon

I went around the coast, catching some herring as I swam. Eventually, on my way back, I surfaced and released more water from my blowhole, catching a glimpse at the curious giant. This time though, the giant was accompanied. There were other creatures around it, honoring the giant. There were strange objects being put up around the area by more of those creatures. I approached to get a better look and I noticed one the creatures observe me. He began to point and jump in excitement, he made his creaturely noises and called more of them over to him. They all made more noises, but hearing those noises, they made me happy. It was the social interaction I had been longing for [5].

I decided to leave the coastal area, believing that I could actually regroup with my pod. It had been a year, and it gave me hope to search again. I sang, sang, and sang, my squeaks and noise gave me hope.

1

But the sun fell, and the moon rose, darkening the cold ocean, and I was still alone. I went back to the coast. I needed to see the curious giant once more time. I fell asleep on my way back to the coastal area, floating along the waves. When I woke up, I could see the green giants in the fog. I heard drums. I heard noise. I heard something. I swam fast to the curious giant. I went up to breathe and saw even more of the creatures surrounding the giant, they were honoring the giant, singing and dancing. Some say that “if a lion could speak, we couldn’t understand a word it was saying, since the form of a lion’s world is massively different from our own. [They] were wrong. I know [they] were wrong” [6] because I could understand these creatures. These creatures were talking to me [7].

tumblr_n9124tkbwu1td60u9o1_500

They pointed and seemed more happy when I popped my head out to greet them. Then, I saw their cheers direct to something else, something beyond, on another part of the coast.

tumblr_nbwataotdh1rybw2ao1_500

Then I heard them. They called. It was them. I went back into the water and called back, “Mother? Father? Brothers? Is that you? Come to me and meet my friends!” I swam, repeating my message until I saw them. It was my pod. I squealed in joy. We swam circles around each other, my mother was at the head of the pod, being the new matriarch since my grandmother had died two years ago [8]. She looked me in my eyes and expressed her pride. I had survived on my own, and it was no small feat, many of our kind dies in solitude, but I survived. It was because of this that I would be the greatest matriarch our pod would ever know. I led my pod, alongside my mother, to the curious giant, and introduced my pod to my friends. I silently thanked the curious giant for being my companion in this time of loneliness.

tumblr_n56gdnNxyT1rpx3sbo1_250.gif

I have a purpose, and I’ll never forget my companions. I’ll come back every year, I’ll bring my pod here every year. And one day, I’ll bring my calf as well.

And she will learn as well.

 


[1]: Being a Beast, pg 4

[2]: “Killer whales are known to use different sounds when the killer whales are participating in different activities” including hunting and finding their pod (Source: http://www.whalefacts.org/killer-whale-facts/)

[3]: Killer whales adapt hunting skills to their habitat surroundings and pass on the tricks of the trade to their young.

[4]: Killer Whales beaching themselves 

[5]: http://www.whalefacts.org/what-is-a-group-of-whales-called/ (Killer whales need social interaction to survive since they have complex social structures and require that emotional support from their pod)

[6]:  Being a Beast, pg 28

[7]: Video of Suquamish Honoring the Killer Whale

[8]: Killer whales have matriarchs to lead their pods; once you are born in a pod, you never leave them, so a killer whale grows up around cousins, aunts, uncles, & grandparents all their life

Total Word Count: 1376 Words

Word Count Without Quotes: 1075 Words

Note: My story was inspired by a documentary I watched in 2013 about a lonely whale called Luna.  This is the citation of the documentary:

Chisholm, Suzanne, and Michael Parfit, directors. The Whale. Narrated by Ryan Reynolds, Mountainside Films Production, 2011.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s