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Kwanzaa Dolphins Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Khalid Magram, Canada Mar 17, 2006
Child & Youth Rights , Culture   Short Stories
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The well-built seafaring ancient dhow, MvDestiny, left the port city of Haven of Peace on a full moon night. The ship sailed for the famous Swahili port town of Heartdrop to celebrate the festival of Kwanzaa. She steered from her sanctuary on serene motion, passing larger liners, and titanic cruise ships anchored at sea, navigating out to the open sea on the same route she has taken since her christen, half a century ago.

Destiny’s passengers were already in a festive and joyous mood, singing and dancing with their native Swahili beat, telling of the first harvest celebrations. The stars were dazzling and glittery, and the calm night sky was showing off its bright full moon, when a sudden change in weather started lashing violent thunder, heavy rain and colossal tidal waves.

By midnight, half way through her twenty-five mile journey, it appeared the vessel was tilting down on the left side with her over-capacity of human cargo on board. Destiny was taking in water. Nevertheless, her experienced captain shrugged off the startling occurrence, sailing with shrill speed. The captain was an Islander; tall with shoulder length, parted curly black hair, and exactly dressed in full piece blue overalls - his trademark binoculars always dangling on his chest. For a few moments, he stood steadily watching the passengers as they frantically struggled to keep themselves still from the pounding of the waves.

“Calm down everyone, move to the right side of the deck”, the captain said sternly.

A woman carrying her infant baby girl struggled to the other side; frantic, other passengers pushed her to the edge. One of Destiny’s crew, a short bulky man in traditional Bantu dress, grabbed the woman and her baby before disaster struck. Passengers were praying, and some seemed to be reciting their last rites as the dhow took on more and more water, despite the hard work of the crew, who were desperately flushing out the incoming water.

Captain Sultana was trying to steer the vessel to the shore , which was nowhere to be found through his binoculars. At last, resort all cargo on aboard had to be thrown out to sea. Gunnysacks of coconuts, sugar, and cream of wheat, destine for big celebration were thrown out into the ocean. Chaos, disorder, and mayhem possessed the once joyous and blissful voyage.

Captain Sultana had no choice but to make the ultimate decision and order everyone to abandon the boat. Some passengers were about to desert Destiny, jump the boat and seek their faith. The boat was balancing on the rough waters and was guided without the captain on the wheel. The captain, his crew, and the passengers were stunned by the phenomenon. An immediate gaze at both sides of the soon- to- be- defunct boat revealed the miracle; two guardian angels on each side of destiny. Two juvenile male bottlenose dolphins, one on each side of destiny, were maneuvering the course of Destiny and balancing her against the rough waters of Indian Ocean.

The legend goes on, telling of two more female dolphins joining the rescue pack to save Destiny from tragedy. Blessed with maternal wisdom, the matriarch dolphin, who had adopted the orphans Kaka, Rafiki and Besty took her position at the back, where nearly all of the crying, weeping women and children were to be found. The men were situated on the right side of Destiny; some were seen helping the crew throw the excess cargo to sea in an attempt to try and tilt the balance of destiny.

Besty seemed to be a born leader; after a brief chat with Mama Dolphin, she positioned herself in front of Destiny. Prepared to use her sonar’s ability to signal the safest passage, Destiny would take towards Heartdrop. Thrilled and overjoyed, Captain Sultana gladly relinquished his authority en route to Besty who took control of the voyage. Destiny was cradled, embraced, and navigated from side to side above the furious sea.

The two boys’ dolphins from the first pack had their speed, endurance, and agility proven crucial; on trying to grip the boat, they competed with the strong current, which constantly pushed them sideways and sometimes pulled them down just when they needed a breath of air. Kaka was the youngest and largest of the boys. He was six-foot-five - two hundred pounds of pure muscle and grit; he had responsibility to lever the tilting side. The Captain's favorite was Rafiki, the other boy. The Good looking one of the two, he constantly went back and forth where the children settled with their mothers, flashing his big wide smile. He belly flopped for the children, and was patted by the Captain every time.

“There are sharks in these waters as well. What if they come after our rescuers?” Asked a young man, who just received order from the captain to unroll the ship rope they had on board.

“H’m…. We shall see then. Meanwhile get others of your age to join us in unrolling the twine”, urged the captain, himself sweating profusely, settling for just a sleeveless t-shirt with over-all top fasteners hanging in the front and back, and his face smear with oil from the engine.

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