Snouty From The Ganges

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic

Snouty the Gangetic River Dolphin is slowly coming to terms with human development around his home. His mum and dad are quirky and adorable but quite helpless when it comes to making Snouty feel
better. This short story explores the rapidly changing lives of the gangetic river dolphins in the face of commercial human developments and teaches kids about our changing environments.

Submitted: November 27, 2017

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Submitted: November 27, 2017



Now, you may not know Snouty and his family, but to read their story you need to know one very important thing- Snouty’s Papa was a little loony.

You see, Snouty’s Papa, Mr. Dolphinson, was always, always paranoid.

The littlest of things scared him. When Snouty got three minutes and forty seconds late from school, he saw his Papa shivering and sweating with fear at the same time. It is not easy to see somebody sweating underwater, but Snouty knew his Papa well enough.

The Dolphinsons were a family of the beautiful Gangetic dolphins, which are one of the very few species of dolphins which can survive only in freshwater or river habitats. The Dolphinsons lived in the river Ganga, in a beautiful country called India.

One day, Mr. Dolphinson hurried home, swimming as fast as he could with one fin touching the muddy river bottom to find food. He had just received extremely bad news and he couldn’t wait to share it with his wife and panic as much as he was able.

He found Snouty’s Mama sitting and relaxing. She was lazily flapping her fins and humming a tune. Whenever she hummed, Mr. Dolphinson got very annoyed.

“How can you be so carefree? Aren’t you afraid something bad might happen any moment?” , he always shrieked.

“Oh c’mon Dolphy, nothing is ever going to happen at all. We live here like our parents and our grandparents did. And our grandchildren will too. We should be happy and thankful and carefree all the time.”, she always countered.

But this time, Mr. Dolphinson had a real reason to be terrified. He had seen the big, hairy, human animals, looking up and down the river!

“Oh dear, oh dear! They are building another damn, you hear me? Another dam!  Oh dear!”, said Mr. Dolphinson.

Snouty came from school at this very moment, and saw for the first time, both his Papa and Mama looking terrified. As Snouty saw it, if something had managed to scare his mother, well, it was serious.

“What happened, Mama?”, Snouty asked his mother, because asking Papa would mean a hard time for his delicate ears.

“Oh child! Another dam..they are building another dam on the Ganga.”, she said, nearly teary-eyed.

Little Snouty did not fully understand what a dam was. However, he knew why they were getting so upset about it. A few years back, when Snouty was just in primary dolphin school, some big, hairy, human things-as his Papa calls them- had built a dam. The whole of the Finsons family had just vanished after that. Something similar had happened even before that, but Snouty was too young that time to remember.

So his Papa was worried their family might vanish too. He wouldn’t have to attend school anymore- that was a good thing. Vanishing didn’t mean one died, did it?

“Papa, but that means, we might finally get to know where the Finsons’ family had disappeared! We might get to meet them!”

“Oh naive child! Of course we will meet them! In heaven. We’ll all die, you hear me? We’ll all die!”, yelled Mr. Dolphinson. He was doing his shivering and sweating thing again.

“Shush, Dolphy. Don’t say such things in front of my little son. Wherever are your manners?!”

“Manners! We are going to perish! The dam will take us all. Why don’t you understand? We will have to move. Move from here. Go to a safer place. Yes. Safer place.”

“Where is ‘Safer Place’, Papa?”, Snouty asked, hoping the question was okay to ask and wouldn’t make Papa’s shivering and sweating worse.

“Oh I don’t know. Nobody knows. Those big, hairy, human animals are everywhere. Everywhere, you hear me?! They build dams everywhere!”, he shrieked again, making Snouty wince.

“Come here little Snouty, come to Mama. We will think of a Safer Place.”

“Do they have schools in Safer Place too, Mama?”

“Yes, darling, there are schools everywhere. You cannot escape schools.”

“We wont die, will we Mama?”

“No, dearest, the Dolphinsons don’t die because of dams.”

That made Snouty feel a lot better, though his parents were feeling very, very scared inside.

Snouty hugged his mom and hoped the human animals would change their mind, leave their precious river alone and go back to their homes.

© Copyright 2018 Nupur K. All rights reserved.

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