Ocean Bestiary

Tag: wild ocean

Rainbow birth

She was a clone. Not unique, not original, unable to make a difference. Inside her… it was growing. The precious cargo released only once every year, at the same hour, on the same night. This time, she wanted to be creative. Disruptive. Revolutionary.

Searching for inspiration, she remembered the beauty she saw every night, after waking up. The flashing colors passing by her. Colors attached to creatures unknown.

When crafting her bundle, she thought: “I’ll pick one color, and I’ll make it mine”

But her thoughts were not private. She was connected to the other clones by the lifeline, so her thirst for change spread through the communal hive-like entity.

“Pick one color” said the hive mind “and make it yours”

At the same moon time, the entire coral reef spawned. In a sea of pink eggs, the clones of the fashion-conscious coral colony sent their little bundles of hope out into the wild: A swarm of aquamarines, fuchsias, tangerines, lavenders, indigos, neon yellows and electric greens. The spawn predators, startled by the rainbow birth, ignored the fashionista eggs, and ate the traditional colors.

Imagined rainbow coral spawn. Normal and iridescent oil pastels. Credit: Sarah Frias-Torres

Imagined rainbow coral spawn. Normal and iridescent oil pastels. Credit: Sarah Frias-Torres

Home

Salty. No boundaries. No empty echoes bouncing into her lower jaw, but the complex image of the seafloor only her sophisticated echolocation can provide. Seeing with her voice, her birthright, denied to her in prison.

So many years performing circus tricks just to get a bunch of disgusting dead fish: up into the air, through the hoop, forward, backward. The endless laps she swam in that fish pond, trying to bring peace to her restless body. Dozing on and off from the drugs she was given by her trainers. The anguish, the torture, the solitude.

And one day, humans different from the ones who captured her as a baby, took her to cooler and cleaner waters. A bay up North, with a delicate barrier separating her from the Big Blue.

She has been listening to the songs of her long lost family. And what sweet voices they are! She sings them her name, as taught by her mother. And they reply: “Come to us, we are waiting for you”.

Now, the sea pen is open. The boundless ocean awaits.

Today, she is going home.

 

Author’s note: I dedicate this fable to all the captive orcas and dolphins worldwide. May humanity understand one day the atrocity of incarcerating these highly intelligent and social animals. Then, I hope we use science-based protocols to rehabilitate them back into the wild ocean.

Closeup orca (Orcinus orca). Iridescent oil pastels on paper. Credit: Sarah Frias-Torres

Closeup orca (Orcinus orca). Iridescent oil pastels on paper. Credit: Sarah Frias-Torres