Short Story

Deep Song Of The Dolphin

I lie here in the depths of misery from which I will never rise. How happy we had been a few months ago. Now, despair is my constant companion.

The day little Mermi was born was the happiest day of my life.Almost at once I forgot how desperately I had wanted a son. As she grew, she would follow me everywhere, even into the darkest caverns. Here she met flounder,dragon fish sun fish and others but she said that they scared her. She would nestle in sea anemonies pretending to hide from me.

Her mother was horrified the day I told her I was taking Mermi to the surface.

"You must be mad she cried,"You know what will happen if the Drylanders see you. No, it is far too dangerous."

Drylanders. Bah! Many dolphins were scared just to hear their name mentioned.Not me. What good is life if you have to live in a state of anxiety? I laughed her fears away. Nothing would happen to my Mermi while she had me to protect her.

As I watched Mermi's sleek body float upon the waves and bask in the sunlight, I forgot her mother's warning,lost in admiration as she began leaping and diving. Her screams of delight knew no bounds.Eventually she was exhausted and we returned to the deep.

From then on there was no holding her.With or without me she would make her way to the surface and never return home until all her energy was spent. In the evenings,I would croon her to sleep. She never tired of the lullabies and gradually she came to know them by heart.

Her mother would smile at us affectionately.

"Who is it who wanted a son?" she would tease. As Mermi grew, she would sing the songs she had learned from me, her haunting interpretations echoing through the dark depths, bringing suitors from far and wide.

"You won't be able to keep her to yourself forever," Clami warned. This I knew, but surely her warning was somewhere far into the future.

On the day Mermi disappeared, Laura tried hard to console me but nothing she could say or do brought any solace. I searched everywhere for weeks but Mermi was gone and my life was empty.

I will pass over this God forsaken period. A time I wish to forget.

One day, while brooding in a deep, dark recess,I thought I heard her sweet voice singing. A haunting refrain that had been a favourite to both of us. My mind was playing tricks again for I knew I was completely alone.

My heart was heavy, thinking of the past.There it was again, a lilting melody echoing through the cavern. Suddenly a shadow fell over me. Who dare intrude into my thoughts?

"Daddy." Was I dreaming? How often I had pined to hear that one word."Daddy." My darling was back. Joy filled my heart as I swam towards her. But who was the stranger by her side?

"This is Oci Daddy".

The exuberance of a moment ago quickly died. I had found her but in the same breath I had lost her again. This young pup had taken her away from me. He was far too smug looking for my taste. Too handsome for his own good. The type who would never be satisfied with just one partner. He would have to be watched.

Mermi introduced him with such pride that I was careful not to let my thoughts show. Looking behind her she called softly,

"Algo, come here and bring your brothers with you." Swimming towards me were three of the sprightliest pups I had ever seen. They were gazing at me shyly and from deep inside I felt such a swelling of pride. My spirits soared.

Mermi was telling me their names but I hardly heard. A yearning to touch and pamper was so strong. I just wanted to nuzzle close to them.

Clami was in raptures over the boys and took to Oci on sight. We settled down to what was my idea of heaven. Now I had three children to love and teach the pleasures and hazards of our underwater homeland.Three pups whose untried voices I could now train to sing the traditional songs of the deep. No lullabies for them; a sonic boom would be more descriptive.

There was just one drawback. Mermi partner. It wasn't anything he said or did, just that I couldn't trust him. Clami patted my hand as if she had read my mind.

"You know you are going to have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Mermi loves him and you can see how he treats her and the boys.Surely this should put your mind at rest."

"But it doesn't, he just came and took her without so much as a word to us. I will never forgive him."

"Pardon me, but isn't that exactly what you did when you chose me? How easily you forget"

"That was different."


"At least I had met your father, which is more than he ever did."

"You met him once and he didn't care for you, remember?" She could talk until midnight, it wouldn't make any difference.

I spent as much time as I could with the boys, disregarding Laura and Mermi's plea not to spoil them. They were young and needed an outlet for their boyish spirits. Their father had no time to play with them; he was busy foraging for food. Reluctantly I had to give him credit. He was a good provider and as the boys grew strong and healthy, my criticism of him began to lessen.

Laura would beg me not to let the boys stray too far; the noise they made could attract the DryLanders. It was her worst nightmare. Although I had heard rumours of those callous hunters of the sea, I refused to curb their childish antics. Let them sing and play, no one would find them here.

They grew stronger and strayed further until one day, as they were shouting their anthems, their happy voices turned to shrieks of terror. Quick as a flash I rushed towards them, followed by their father, only to find them tangled in a mesh,being dragged upward. Desperately we struggled to free them. The screams from Clami and Mermi reverberated through the depths.

All our frenzied efforts couldn't prevent them being hauled aloft. In desperation we followed their tragic path to the surface.Silent in our hopelessness we watched as our beloved pups, still helplessly screaming, were hauled aboard a vessel by the Drylander.

We swam as far as the shore, knowing all hope was lost.

I lie here in my misery feeling I have nothing to live for. The pathetic cries of my loved ones my only company, for I seek no other. No more will I hear the deep song of my beloved Algo, Coril or sweet little Kelpi.

Maggie Cusick


Copyright of all poetry on this

website is retained by the author.

back to poetry index