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A Summer’s Tale: A Wildling

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The wind rippled across the surface of the lagoon disturbing the heron’s focus from its prey. In the blue water below swam the boy shadowing the white sand. A dolphin swam alongside the blue-green child and leapt up to rile the heron as it took flight. The hot breeze stirred the fronds of the island palms and there for an instant was the notion of rain; not the fickle sort of rain that splatters one corner of a sidewalk, leaving the parched grass to turn to straw against the concrete. This was the type of rain that would flood streets, wash away vehicles and sweep homes from their foundations, but on this island there were no implements of living wrought to convenient animals gone tame and domestic. Here on this little removed island in the middle of the great big ocean galaxy was only wild. Wilder beasts than the unruly naked apes in their cities of concrete could even imagine.

The palm’s dry leaves rattled in the hot breeze and on the horizon a waterspout moved across the sea as if it were a living breathing creature as it funneled water higher and higher till a pelican was knocked out of flight. The large bird plummeted down but caught the wind before it broke the surface of the water and skimmed just above the vast sea. The boy broke the surface as the pelican skimmed above him; he reached up and felt the webbing of the bird’s feet tucked close against its body. The waterspout danced towards the horizon and the dolphin clicked to the boy. They swam away together parallel abreast pursuing the mighty tower of water, and occasionally the silhouette of fish large and small fell from the great column’s head and crashed to the water below.

The mighty sun that warmed the sand and palms on the little island passed overhead and slid down to meet the surface of the sea on the distant horizon. Seabirds called to each other as they sought shelter against the cooling night and lightning lit up the darkening sky as they found roosting. The rain that had been flirting with the island during the heat of the day seemed to draw moisture out of the very sea before it hurled it back down with force and vengeance like a slighted lover until the fronds were torn away from the palm and fell into the waves pummeling the beach. The dolphin and the boy returned to the lagoon in time to witness in flashes of light a nest of sea turtles hatching up from the wet sand. The hatchlings met the rough surf unhindered as the predatory seabirds were sheltered in the scrubby little palms and mangroves. The boy swam below and watched their little bodies silhouetted against the violent flashes of light blazing against their sky. The dolphin nudged the boy’s elbow with his nose and they continued swimming out along the reef where the skeleton of a blue whale swayed with the tide before disintegrating into the sand.

Tales from the Sea


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