I started to swim away as fast as I could when I heard a sad, scared and quiet voice, ‘wait,’ I squeaked in relief, I saw that the shadow was only a seal. ‘ Sorry for startling you, I suppose you can’t get to sleep either?’ It asked ‘no, yes, well, lets just say that I can’t sleep easily.’ I replied. The seal seemed to be happier about this and asked ‘what’s your name anyway?’ ‘Apollo and yours?’ I asked ‘Pearl, and do you know what makes you say OI?’ ‘no wha-?’ but I never finished the question because Pearl smacked me playfully on the flipper and raced off ‘OI!’ I squealed. I swam after her trying not to click too loudly and using my echolocation. Pearl was using her excellent hearing and her sensitive whiskers to make sure I didn’t get too close.
In the end I ended up clicking, ‘ok, ok I agree and give up ok? Oh and Pearl, could you come with me to sleep with my pod? I will be pretty lonely without you.’ ‘Sure and… could you introduce me to your friends?’ she asked, ‘sure,’ I replied and with that we swam side by side back to where the pod was. When we got back we swam a quietly as we could back to where I was sleeping before. In moments I fell asleep, surprisingly, probably because of all the rushing around.
The next day came too soon and when I got shaken awake from Flipper I was confused and tired. ‘Wha? Wait, no, give me five more minutes Mum…’ I murmured, ‘wake UP Apollo, you’ve been asleep for half of the day already!’ Clicked Flipper loudly, that was when I squealed, ‘WHAT!? HALF THE DAY!?’ and woke up completely.
We had been swimming with the pod for two hours when we felt vibrations in the water. ‘Uhh Mum… what‘s happening? I’m scared’ clicked, ‘that‘s just a boat, don’t worry. Tell you what, how about we go ask Slash if we can do some bow riding?’ She replied ‘Yeah sure, but one question what is bow riding?’ but she never really answered my question because Slash swam over to us and said, ‘did I hear you two talking about bow riding? What a great idea!’ and he clicked without waiting for an answer and called a meeting right then and there.
Soon the whole pod were swimming towards the boat ,which ended up to be a cruise boat, all excited of the thought of going bow riding. We got there faster than I thought we would and everyone rushed forwards to the front of the boat and I followed hesitantly not knowing what to do. I soon found out though because everyone was jumping out of the water with the wave and I joined in and found out it was really easy and fun! ‘Wee!’ I squealed for about the hundredth time with Bubs and Flip on either side of me. I slowed down and looked up at the humans and they looked back at me with grins on their faces. ‘Come in, the water’s great!’ I squealed to them, even though I knew they couldn’t understand me.
One girl smiled and nodded at me as though she understood me though, she said something to her mum in human language and her mum looked thoughtful. Then they walked up the boat with me following them, the girl was looking at me all the while.
We soon reached where they were going and the mum walked over to this person with a hat saying “captain” on it, whatever that means. The mother talked to him and he nodded to her and the girl seemed really happy and ran somewhere else on the boat where I couldn’t see. The girl soon came back wearing something black with polka dots which I assume they use to be like us and swim. She got lowered down a ladder and as soon as the other kids saw what was happening they ran off too.
In no time at all there was a lot of kids in the water all trying to keep up with us so we had a bit of fun by going close to them and darting off again. It was so funny to see them swimming really slowly trying to catch us. The girl that first got in seemed to stick as close to me as she could. Somehow she got to me and she looked at my dorsal fin in surprise so I turned around and saw, for the first time, that I had a scar running all the way down it in the shape of an ‘A’.
I turned around in the water twice before remembering along time ago, when I was younger, playing with a sharp rock and batted it with my tail and then a lot of pain in my dorsal fin. I squealed loudly in surprise and the girl laughed. I looked closer on her swimsuit thing and saw that it had her name on it, well at least I think it was her name and I read Genevieve in yellow. She smiled at me and started swimming towards me muttering things in her human language.
I’m not sure what she said but she seemed to be trying to calm me down. She was coming closer to me so I darted away ready to play, but, Genevieve seemed to get sad so I slowly swam towards her and she smiled again. I dived under her and she squealed with excitement. I came back up again and splashed her. She splashed me back and soon we were having a water fight.
Soon mum came and immediately I knew it was time to go. I didn’t want to so I hid behind the human girl. ‘Come on now Apollo it’s time to go,’ she clicked, ‘aww but I was playing with this human…’ I clicked back. ‘Come Apollo, now! No excuses.’ She said, so, of course, I followed her back to the pod but not before I nudged Genevieve a “bye” hug.
As I looked at the sunset, I saw the boat disappear into the distance, and, as I settled down to sleep, I wondered if i would ever see the human girl again.