It was a hot, summer day, and John Smith, age 5, from Belgrade, Serbia, was at the beach with his friends Mary, Sarah and George. They were having a great
time swimming in the sea and building castles in the sand. All of a sudden, John shouted: “Look, there is a dolphin coming towards us!” Sure enough, a cute, shiny dolphin swam into the shallow waters where John and his friends were playing.
The dolphin circled around them once. “Hi! My name is Mickey. May I play with you?” he asked.
“Of course you may. We like making new friends,” John said, “but we have never met a dolphin before. I hope you have some new games to show us.”
The dolphin proved to be a great new friend. He gave John and his friends back rides and even taught John how to swim like a dolphin.
After playing and splashing in the water for a long time, John, Mary, Sarah and George became very tired. “Let’s sit on the beach and talk” said John.
Mickey the dolphin lay in the shallow water while his friends went to sit on the beach right next to him.
“What is it like to live under water?” John asked.
Mickey began to tell the children about his life in the sea and of all the beautiful plants, including algae or seaweed, and of the fish that live there.
“The sea is a beautiful, colourfull, magical world. There are so many living creatures under the sea, just like there are on land. There are many creatures which look like plants, sea anemones being one of them. They catch their prey with stinging tentacles. Then there is the starfish; If the starfish loses one of its arms, it quickly grows another one.” Mickey explained.
“Wow! That’s really something!” John was amazed. “Please tell us more about the sea world,” he begged.
“Well, what I like best is to play with other dolphins in the sea. We travel together in groups called pods. A baby dolphin stays with its mother until the age of three. After that, we are considered old enough to take care of ourselves,” Mickey explained.
“Of course, the sea world would not be complete without the whales. The whales are mammals, just like we are. They are the biggest creatures of the sea. The
blue whale, the largest animal on earth, weighs as much as twenty-five African elephants together. It eats tiny krill and is harmless to people. The whales breathe through a blowhole and it’s fun to watch, as it looks like they have a fountain on the top of their head,” said Mickey.
“Your world sounds so magical,” said John. “I want to live under the sea too!” Mickey laughed at that. “What’s so funny?” John asked.
“Oh John,” said Mickey. “My world is beautiful but we also have a lot of problems under water.”
John was surprised. “But what kind of problems do you have?” he said.
Mickey seemed thoughtful for a while. “Firstly, we have pollution in the sea,” Mickey said. John didn’t understand what pollution meant, so Mickey went on to explain. “When waste matter from factories flows into the sea, that is pollution! When ships at sea leave their oil behind and when people throw their garbage in the sea, that, too, is pollution! We need clean water to be healthy, just like you need clean air,” he said.
“But worst of all are the fishermen’s nets. Fishermen fish for tuna, but very often we end up in their nets,” Mickey finished off sadly.
“Isn’t there anything we can do to help?” John asked.
“Sure. You can support and protect us, by making people aware of the hazards of sea pollution and careless fishermen. That way you will make it possible for us to stay and play with you for a long time to come,” answered Mickey.
“How do we do that?” John wanted to know.
“Well, you can start by talking to your friends about our plight,” said Mickey, “and they will tell their friends, and soon everyone will want to help us.” Then it was time to go.
John and his friends ran off, waving happily to their new friend, knowing in their hearts that they would never forget Mickey. They were eager to start helping all the beautiful dolphins and whales that live in our seas.