The Baby Whale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 22, 2019

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Submitted: June 22, 2019

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The Baby Whale
 

I was not born as a genius. But I was gifted with some specialities. Not being afraid of water was one of them. 

When I was one and half, my Grandma told me I was born while my mom was sitting on the toilet, and I was literally dropped into the pool of poo!
 
I did not believe my mom would do this to me, I asked my Dad if it was true. 
 
'You were so tiny then, you slipped off like a catfish.'
 
'It was true, then. Was I really also covered with lots of poo?'
 
I was biting my libs hard, and eyes were about to be flooded with tears. He repressed his smile and quickly added, 'No, no, no. You were actually slipped off like a baby whale into a clean ocean. You know just like the mermaid that you like. Swim and swim.'
 
Though I knew many things my Dad said were simply jokes, his explanation did not help much. His answers totally convinced me that I was really born into the toilet. I burst into tears and wailed like a siren of a fire engine. 
 
'Okay, okay. Being a baby whale is better than being a catfish. At least you can swim like a mermaid. Isn't it?' My Dad could not stop from teasing me. 
 
So, I got my number eleventh nickname that day: Baby Whale. 
 
Interesting enough, my family members soon found out that I was worthy of that name. As while many of my cousins or siblings were still afraid of water or unable to swim. I was already able to swim in the ocean as young as three.
 
We lived at East coast of Taiwan, seeing ocean was part of our life. Each Summer, our family would go fishing at the coast. I did not like to see how fish was pulled out of water and danced tango before its death. I liked to walk along the coast towards the south and looked into or beyond the ocean instead, and wondered if my feet could magically turn into a tail fin and swim like a graceful mermaid. I sat at a rock, wiggled my feet, dreamed of a prince, and ... A childish dream, I know. 
 
But due to our coast had no beach and the ocean was way too deep to swim. No one was allowed or dared to swim in the ocean in the area where we lived. Pulling fish out of water, witnessing their death tango and then BBQ them on the spot was what we could do. 
 
However, my Dad was good at having adventures, next Summer he announced that we were going for a swim. The whole house shook by children's cheering. I thought perhaps my Dad had read my wish, or he wanted to make up for the joke he made last year, which ended up in my refusing to go to toilet for a month and peeing in bed for him to clean up as a solution. 
 
That Summer he drove a whole truck of kids and adults to an only little beach towards the further south of the coast. Where it was clear of sharks. Each of us was having a lifebelt, a floating plastic duck or frog etc to sit on. I was given a plastic swan with a long neck in the front. I sat on it with two short legs padding in the water pretending I was a swan. But somehow I did not like to be a swan. Soon I became bored with only paddling my legs in such a beautiful Summer's ocean. Suddenly I though of my last nickname, the joke my Dad mad and the dream I had. I was a Baby Whale! 
 
I pulled up my legs, hands holding the swan's neck, and stood up on the swan's wings. I was thinking how to do a graceful diving. But the swan was soon not able to hold my weight and keep me balance, about five seconds later I did a frontward somersault and fell into the water. Head and all. This swan was certainly having a big temper! 
 
The person who was closest to me started to scream. 'Help! Help!' Soon many people were gathered around and tried to scoop me out of water while they were still floating on he surface with their lifebelts or animal seats. My eldest cousin did a great job, she hooked her legs onto my swan's neck, dove into the water at where I fell and scooped me up. But, it was my swimming cap only! I had drawn by the waves. 
 
I heard there was lots of clamoring above the surface. I looked up and saw many legs were paddling frantically. People were calling my name and hoping to hear my response. I was inside the water. And I was not afraid. I let the the current drifted me away. I stretched my limbs and started to wiggle them with my body. For a while, I felt I was a mermaid or a Baby Whale. I looked up again, there were no more legs above me. I saw a warm sunny sun smiling at me. He was my prince, I thought. I never stopped dreaming even when my life seemed to be at risk. 
 
But my dream broke at last, when the waves pushed me toward the shore with a bunch of seaweed. I sprawled on the black sand with seaweed wrapped all over me. It did not take very long for people to spot me as a strange looking "unidentified floating object" from the sea. They came and cried. 'Thanks God. You can swim and you are still alive!'
 
I thought I was a fish that was pulled out of water, I opened my mouth and gasped for air, and waited to dance tango and die. Well, I didn't. I cried too. Air rushed into my lungs and I realized I was not a mermaid after all. I looked at my Dad who was kneeling beside me and asked, 'When can we come for a swim again?' 
 
Well, we never did. He built a outdoor swimming pool on the top floor of our house. We were only allowed to swim in that swimming pool during each Summer. I told myself, 'Okay, I was born as a Baby Whale and I could have my mermaid's dream at anytime, at anywhere.' 
 
In that "home-made" ocean, there were many Summers I swam like a baby whale and had my dream as a mermaid, included skinny-dips, without risking my life in the ocean again. But I never gave up asking him, 'When can we go for a real swim again?' With that, he always said, 'No'. I thought having me being an "UFO" from the sea once was too much for him to take already, let alone I become a real one into the sky (means death). But I didn't think he knew his daughter was actually a whale who enjoyed ocean, just like the myth he told me about my birth.  
 



© Copyright 2019 Derina Penn. All rights reserved.

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