Ava, the Story of a WhaleEdit
The first thing I remember is the ocean, vast, pulling me, beaconing me to the wonders out there. I lived in a pod with my mother and father off New Zealand in the west . My grandmother was in charge of the pod. I felt it was a great honor but it didn't change much. I loved the ocean from my first dive. Mother and Father were great hunters, I wished to be like them, the seals were one salmon another. Grandmother disapproved of hunting more than needed, she understood we all need a life, food, and a safe resting place. Therefore unnecessary food was forbidden. I had loved the pod from the beginning, we were heading around to feed on a group of salmon, I stared at me cave for a moment capturing it, we would come back I knew. But my heart told me many moons would pass before we returned. I saw a salmon and chased it over to my cave then turned. The pod was gone, there was nothing left. Their trail had disappeared. I panicked, where were they? How long until mother would realize? I swam back and forth, then slowly I turned coming face to face with a sea otter. "Ah!" "Hello mate I'm Cheek, the Cheekiest otter that ever did have a cup o' mischief!" "Uh, I'm Ava?" "G'day matey Ava, ha brings yea to Shallow Deeps?" "I got lost from my pod." "We'll make our own, one might say we're two peas in a pod!" "No really Mother and Father and Grandmother left and I'm lost." "Hm... follow me messmate." I followed Cheek for some time as he went up for air and back down eventually I even allowed him to ride on my back to not have to get air again and again. Soon after my giving Cheek a ride we reached a kelp forest, Cheek slid in and I followed. Where were we? Cheeked sighed contently. "Now mate what your pod's name?" "Amani's pod, my Grandmother's name." "Now I can't give yea direction but I'd oblige to help yea, I know a lubber who knows every one in the deep so he says. Maybe he might 'a met your Granny one fine day!" "Perfect so what is he and where is he?" "He's a little feathery seagull named Nigel, would it bother yea if he's a bit talkative?" "No not at all!" I could bear anything to see my pod again. We swam for hours until I chased a small group of salmon and settled down to eat while Cheek opened oysters. I slept underwater coming up for air and Cheek anchored himself to some seaweed and started to doze. 13:38, September 27, 2011 (UTC)13:38, September 27, 2011 (UTC)13:38, September 27, 2011 (UTC)13:38, September 27, 2011 (UTC)13:38, September 27, 2011 (UTC)13:38, September 27, 2011 (UTC)13:38, September 27, 2011 (UTC)13:38, September 27, 2011 (UTC)❤PiperMclean The rays of sun warmed my skin as morning reached out and touched the waters. I sighed and swam up. "Cheek." "Cheek?" "Cheek!" "CHEEK!" He yawned and looked up at me. "No need to yell little lubber!" We swam for around a hour then got as close as we could to the shore, Cheek was searching. "Nigel!" A seagull with feathers falling off with every flap of his wings landed and sneezed. "Cheek you old lubber! You know yesterday I saw you old Auntie and I swear she was furious about you stealing her old clamshells and you know she was 'a planning to make them into earrings and..……" "Nigel?" "Huh what?" "This hear lubber lost her old pod and we was a wondering' if you might know a orca watery chap named uh…. Amani!" "Hm, no sorry. But I know a dolphin with a amazing sense o' direction named uh.. Daphne she lives in Coral Cove. Know I heard a bulldog 'a saying I was crazy. Ya don't think so do you me old messmate? Course not, yesterday I ate a yogurt cup and boy the aches I felt..…." Cheek swam off obviously he main priority was to get away from the crazed seagull. I for one agreed with him. I had been to Coral cove once but since we were in unknown territory I knew nothing about where to go. Cheek eventually asked a clownfish if he knew what direction Coral Cove was in, the clownfish kept joking around so Cheek gave up. Soon I tired and ate some tuna before continuing. We traveled aimlessly or so I thought until I saw many bright colors in the distance. I thought Cheek was joking about being able to help me, then we neared the Coral and I thought again. Maybe, just maybe I'd see my family again. I hoped to, but to me all seemed lost. We swam into a shallow cave of coral. A beautiful light blue dolphin turned. "Hi mates, what can I do for you?" "Hello 'lil lass, Nigel the gull directed us in the direction 'o this dwelling! Might you be able to assist travelers in distress?" "O' course. What is the problem'o?" I butt in feeling that it was my problem so I should explain. "I lost my pod. It's Amani's, my Grandmother's." "One minute I have a journal I keep maybe I can find the day, are they heading to the old feeding grounds?" "Yes in fact." She dug up an old book with pages of light, light, green from pounded seaweed. She searched for a good five minutes until she found it. "……Nice Orca stopped by heading to feeding grounds going north. Pod very large. Pointed them north…" Cheek grinned. "North did ye say matey? Well shrimp hear we come!" "Wait, we dolphins always help those in need if innocent, I'll come to point you in the direction." "Gee thanks Daphne. Your a real matey, a real help in tough sludge." "Ok?" We headed in the direction of what Daphne said a good rest stop. Daphne was a orphan and had some distant family near the feeding grounds that might except her so she was leaving the Coral for -what she hoped- forever. We saw a small seaweed & mud hut and stopped. A swordfish swam out. "What do you need? Salty's inn all welcome except predators and such. Need lodging?" "You see sir," I said trying to act kind and show I wasn't afraid, "You see we are searching for "Amani's Pod" might they of passed by some time recent?" "Hm, a pod o' orcas? Well I don't recall but maybe my mate Brian might 'o seen him. One minute." He swam in and yelled something and a grey swordfish strolled out. " Killer whales ye say?" "I beg to differ! Orcas. Ahem!" "Oh um yes they went North east or something' g'day!" We swam off with Daphne grinning. "Ava, you sure taught him!" "Really?" "Yep you got the makings of a great leader." We lodged in a cave while Cheek took first watch. I wondered where my pod was, if they missed me. I knew it would be challenging for Grandma to go back for because she could send search parties but making everyone in the pod go back wasn't really an option. Therefore waiting for the pod wasn't ideal at all. I worried and wondered myself until slowly my eyes drooped.
When I awoke I realized a huge school of trout was passing and Daphne was upsetting the group be trying to catch one. I thundered into the school and grabbed several in my mouth before the started splitting up. "Divide and conquer" as they say but I could tell they were not conquering us! I shared with Daphne as Cheek swam down with a big grin. We set off after a delicious meal of trout and oysters. We planned to skip any other meals for the rest of the day as we passed some dangerous territory where divers, sharks, and nets were common. Daphne explained allot to us as we swam nearer. "Ok mates, we are approaching the Rocky Waters. NO speaking unless urgent, stay close by at all times and be alert for any suspicious activity of any type. Watch for nets, and humans. Especially any predators and always stick with the group." We nodded silently and I wondered if I would ever see Mother and Father again. We made our way through rocky waters with a shipwreck. Crabs and losers scuttled along the bottom as Cheek went up and down for air. After we passed the shipwreck we came up to kelp forest. I was scared as we made our first paddles through the green foliage. My flipper snagged on something, I was stuck. "Daphne!" I hissed, now I was vulnerable. I felt a chill run over me and I looked up. A fishing ship was over us. Daphne slowly inched towards me. "Ok, slowly tug and I'll get Cheek. Don't panic." I focused on her sea green eyes and calmed. She swam ahead after the continuing Cheek. He soon came and nibbled at the kelp. Turns out there were many strands everywhere covering my fins. He came up for air and we continued. The kelp forest reached onwards and onwards as we continuously dived, ducked, and dodged the kelp. No more snags but several close calls. I worried the whole way. We reached to end and slowly went through the water until the boat was out of sight. Cheek floated up every now and then and Daphne and I stuck close together, the main difficulty was the boats, nets, and sharks. If a shadow passed over us we were to immediately stop. It was most likely a ship, A ship was a unquestionable danger to all. We reached a rocky cave and ate some trout. Cheek tied himself as usual and Daphne and I drifted on the surface. The next day was rainy. Less ships could be expected so Daphne was more or less at ease. "Ava you cover our flank, Cheek swim ahead and I'll be in the middle ok?" "Yessir mess-matey!" "Aye aye!" "Ok! To your positions!" Covering the flank was funner than it may seem. It meant you could study longer, since you passed by later than others. Starfish, coral, and hermit crabs were just the beginning. We went up for air together as we swam through the vast seas. Cheek sang a ditty to cheer us up. "Oh I'd rather have some seaweed grog than any feast alive. Seaweed is good for the soul and help yea wisdom thrive. Green and salty yummy yummy too! Drinking seaweed grog is what I'd rather do!" I was lightened up by the hilarious scene put on by Cheek and quickened up. Daphne grinned and was obviously cheered up by Cheek too. "Ok keep em up!" We swam through. I thought and was almost sure that it was another boat but it was a very dark, looming, and forbidding storm. Lightning struck off in the distance. "Alright Cheek, Ava, we can spread out more. The storm look fierce and any sailor in their right mind wouldn't dare set off on a day like this." Daphne seemed to be leading. I had no problem with that, I'd never trust Cheek nor feel safe if he were guiding. I still had't developed my parents sense of direction. Daphne was a pro, plus she had maps and experience. I just followed my pod. The thunder made me nervous as we swam slowly through the long, dark, wide, and for once forbidding sea. I always thought of the ocean as safety, freedom from worries and troubles. Now it was a prison, churning around as if it wanted to swallow me. When we rose up for air I felt the drumming rain beating against my back. It was so hard it almost hurt! I followed for hours fighting the currents. Suddenly a huge tidal wave smacked me against coral and my mind went black. The last thing I saw was a blurry shape, blue and black. I awoke with my head pounding. I saw a huge dark blue dolphin shaped almost creature. It had a long snout. A sword fish. I wondered if it was hostile or safe. I saw Daphne swimming around nervously. The swordfish grinned when he saw I was awake. "Hey dude or orca lady. He hit your head like crazy on the old coral right 'ere. Whoa man it was awesome." Daphne noticed me and smiled weakly. "Hi Ava. Head feeling better? This is Kyle and he knows where your pod went and is gonna take us." I was glad he was gonna take us but worried. A horrible feeling crept up the pit of my stomach. "Wheres Cheek?" "He's up on the surface, got hit really bad." Daphne looked genuinely worried. I swam up to the surface and saw a floating fuzzy ball of brown. Cheek had a gash colored a very raw red and a big swelling bump on his head. I wrapped seaweed around the gash and swam down. Daphne explained Cheek was going to ride on her back snide we were going to swim by the surface following Kyle. I tied Cheek safely to Daphne and we continued. I saw plenty of gulls staring. We must've looked quite strange indeed. None of the gulls looked as wild as Nigel. Kyle was zooming way ahead of us as we tried harder and harder to catch up. Then he dove down. We couldn't take Cheek so Daphne instructed me to follow Kyle. He was staring at a large boulder. I was irritated, had I swam down here for a rock. "What is it?" I asked a bit more loftily than I meant to. Kyle pointed reverently to a marking on the stone. A circle with half black half white petals. The sign of my pod! ❃ Kyle seemed immensely self satisfied. "We are close, very close." He told Daphne and we set off. The storm had cleared and a partly cloudy sky was light blue. Cheek was still out cold and Daphne wished to see if any doctors or healers were near. Kyle came to a abrupt stop and turned. "Hey Daphne! I know a healer up this-a-ways and he's a good one. Wanna see 'em?" "Sure as long as you trust him." We headed off the trail to a cave protruding halfway out of the water. There was a curtain made of seaweed and a conch shell attached to the cave. Kyle hit it against the rock three times and waited. A ancient, scarred, and beat up looking Risso's dolphin poked his whited striped head out. "Kyle you old lubber what's cooking? Not another ripped fin 'o yours." "Nope Rico we have a injured otter amongst us." "Otter….otter…hm…. show him in and the rest of y'all too." We swam into the cave, it had many smoothed sanded shelves with bottled items. One even was labeled shredded narwhale horn crust! He studied Cheek and placed him on a larger shelf above the water. Then he motioned to a bright red lobster that I hadn't noticed before. The lobster scurried to grab a bottle and uncorked it. It smelled vaguely of seaweed and tuna. Rico rubbed the rather foul concoction on Cheek's gash and had the lobster place it back. Then he grabbed a creamy looking salve and rubbed it onto Cheek's head. Next he applied it to the gash and wrapped both injuries up with seaweed. The lobster grabbed another bottle of a sky blue liquid and handed it Rico. "Thank you Auburn. Now show our guest to their rooms." The little lobster scurried through another curtain and pointed to Kyle then to a large slab of thick seaweed. Understanding obviously Kyle sat down while Auburn scurried into another room and pointed to Daphne. The next room was mine and two more empty rooms where next to mine. Since it was half submerged I could just swim up a ounce and get a breath. A few bottles labeled common items such as ache remover, scratch ointment, and dry skin salve covered the shelves. I grabbed another bottle labeled kelp extract and sipped some. The tangy salty taste was well loved by many orcas in my pod. I settled down in my seaweed pad and fell into a deep sleep.
I woke up happy and fresh. For the first time in so many days I almost felt at home. I knocked with the conch on Daphne's seaweed door. "Come in." She was sitting on a rock seat staring out a carved hole in the rocky wall. "So Daphne are we leaving today?" "No, sorry but Rico says Cheek needs to heal. It can't be helped. So were hanging around for today and leaving tomorrow." I was upset greatly because it would take longer to find my pod but was secretly sort of glad we could slow down a little and rest. I swam out through a short cut into Rico's office. He explained lots of things to me about healing. Seaweed soothes bumps and bruises but putting it on a scrape without any salve will sting and infect. Boiled seaweed is good for stiff, and firm casts. Narwhale horn crust is good for infected bleeding cuts and burns too. Trout fins are a secret of his, he boils and shreds them into his soothing cream salve for faster healing and skin protection. The day seemed to zoom by as he explained every bottle on his shelf. Salmon skin was great for dry fins and a sip of water, shell crusts, and skimmed kelp extract looses up tight strained muscles. I loved sitting there listening and helping him. I decided that one day I would study medical knowledge and open up my own cave. The rest of the day I planned to just rest. I had some canned trout and pickled sea slugs for my midday meal. The kelp extract proved to be a delicacy with trout. My room also had a hole and I watched a school of fish dart by. My seaweed slab seemed so soft compared to the places I had been sleeping. I also boiled some kelp extract. First I set a rock on the top of the cave under the now beating down on us sun. After about an hour I placed the extract bottled up on the burning rock. After a quarter of a hour I removed both items and poured my kelp extract into a bottle of narwhal horn crusts for infected cuts and burns. Feeling satisfied I tucked it in a sack I planned to take with me. I made some more brews to take also so we would be ready for the next wounds there may be. I waited hours for the sun to go down by watching out of my window=-hole. The night slipped by like a octopus slips away in a cloud of ink. I woke up early though, excited about continuing our long journey. I swam through the long rooms and no one was there my sack tied to my back I felt fully prepared. I stepped into the main office and Kyle, Cheek, and Daphne where waiting. "Glad you're feeling better Cheek old buddy old friend old pal." "I'm ship shape and on the go!" I said bye and thanks to Rico and we course corrected. It was a sunny day and and no clouds in the sky at all. Cheek started swimming rather slowly and sluggishly but after a while got into the groove and was almost ahead of Kyle. I was just getting tired when I saw a rough wavy oyster lying against the bright coral rainbow. The white gray color made it stand out against the many neon colors of coral. I swam downwards and Cheek and Kyle followed. Kyle was genuinely confused. "What is it Ava? Why'd you stop?" "I see a oyster, it might have a clue." When we reached the oyster we searched all over it. No paint, carvings, scroll, nothing! Cheek seemed completely uninterested in the oyster and half heartedly searched. "Well I guess we should head up……" "No! Wait!" I cut Kyle off as a brilliant plan seized my baffled mind. I pulled and tugged the huge shell open. Inside was a white creamy perfect sphere. A pearl. On it, delicately carved with no flaws was the sign of my kinsfolk. ❃ Kyle smiled, impressed. We swam up and continued with a raging hope. The afternoon crept by slowly, the day started to get cloudy. The sun was blocked every now and then and Daphne announced that the chances of rain tomorrow were most likely. The gray sky rumbled even. Kyle kept onwards at his amazing pace. Cheek looked as if in deep thought, finally his face broke out in a huge grin wide as the ocean was vast. He broke into a ditty. Oh never eat live crab cakes.
I myself prefer pickled plums. Guaranteed the meat on ye plate will never stop a beaten' his gums! But always eat boiled seaweed grog. Now that is truly prime stuff! Anyone who steals my cup will have it rough!
We broke out laughing so hard tears ran down our cheeks. Cheek seemed so pleased I thought he would burst. Then I saw something, a black smudge in the distance. I hurried. Swimming faster than Kyle could ever go. The smudge slowly came into a bit more focus. Black and white figures swimming around. I quickened a hope creeping up my gut. I swam faster and faster. Then I saw it! My pod! I charged into my mother and father. They were crying and kissing me and hugging so hard I thought my lungs would burst. My grandma swam over smiling and hugging. I was home.
Ava was home and happy once again. Turns out that daphne found her relatives and moved nearby. Kyle started a clan of swordfish sworn to a code of nobility. Cheek stuck around for the next couple years and mated a charming she otter named Gemma. Soon Cheek had kids, grand kids, and at one point great grand kids bouncing around his busy home. Ava pursued healing techniques and every summer worked in her own healer's cave. She became what was hers in birthright. She ruled the pod with a kind steady hand. Until Next time, GMJ
I posted the rest of this for my sister's sake. She's too cautious to sneak on every once in a while, so, yeah...
❤PiperMclean 13:38, September 27, 2011 (UTC)