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Chapter I

How Narkal Got His Wings

Once upon a time, there was a baby narwhal named Narkal. When Narkal was born, everyone suspected he was different than the other Narwhals. Yes, Narkal was a lot like the other narwhals his age. With two healthy pectoral fins, a giddy little narwhal voice, and loved having ‘’sword fights” with his friends.


            But it was obvious Narkal was a little different. He was teeny-tiny compared to his friends.  This set back caused him to have to swim faster to keep up. On the other hand, Narkal spent less time and energy hunting for food. Snacking on plankton was usually a big enough meal to fill him up. Still his mother insisted he eat plenty of sea vegetables, too.


            As Narkal got older his horn started to change from dark grey to all the colors of the rainbow. Since Narkal was used to being different from his peers, this new change wasn’t something he thought too much of.


            However, Narkal’s mom knew he was special. All narwhal boys have a special power of detecting vibes from the world around them with their horns. But as Narkal got older, and not much bigger, his horn seemed much more sensitive.


            He could tell when the fish were terrified of that big dark floating rock. (boats) The rock sometimes dangled out a giant plastic cloud that the fish would get stuck in. Then they would all disappear—sucked up into the rock, and their families never saw them again.


            This plastic stuff was often floating around near the surface. Where did it come from? It was so strange, like nothing else in the sea. And unlike everything else in the sea, it tasted terrible! It seemed to give everyone a tummy ache. Even Snarky the shark and Kilo the killer whale thought it tasted bad… and they are always up for a snack!


            Sometimes the floating rock got angry and shot vicious stingrays form another world (harpoons) into the water. This Great Rock seemed to get angrier when more narwhals and whales were nearby.


            The first time Narkal saw one of his friends get bit by one of these stingrays, he was traumatized. He cried, and asked, “Why?!? Why is the rock so angry at the ocean?”


            Being so small, the shooting stingrays never seemed to come after him. Perhaps, they didn’t see him because he was so small… or maybe they thought he wouldn’t be as tasty as the bigger narwhals with solid grey horns. Who knows? Narkal tried not to think about what was killing his friends and family, until…


            One sunny afternoon he was swimming with his mom. They were discussing all of Narkal’s favorite foods, practicing blowing bubbles, and playing hide-and-go-seek tag.


            All of a sudden, the Great Rock was right above them, hovering like a dark cloud. Several steel stingrays shot directly at Narkal’s mom. Striking her, the terrible stingrays drug her towards the Great Rock. She whaled in pain, screaming for him. He followed as best he could, swimming through a cloud of his mother’s blood and agony.


At first, Narkal felt scared of what might happen to him getting this close to the Great Rock, but soon he realized the Great Rock wanted nothing to do with him. It’s like it didn’t even see him?!?

Narkal leapt out of the water, trying to get a better view of what was happening to his wounded mom. She was drug upon the Great Rock, and rumbling and roaring, it darted off into the distance.

Narkal was startled. In shock, he swam as deep as he could go, down to the ocean floor. Then, he wept for hours. He curled up and cuddled with a bed of kelp. Why?!? Why is the Great Rock doing this? Why is it so aggressive and destructive?


As he wept, he begged and pleaded for an answer. Why?? Why is it taking all the living beings he loves—leaving fear and uncertainty?


That night Narkal cried himself to sleep. He cried so hard the tears he shed were every color of the rainbow. It appeared like a magic force. The cloud of colors gently swirled around him, and eventually Narkal drifted off to sleep.


The next morning Narkal woke with an aching sadness… or maybe an aching growing pain. Was it all just a dream or was his mother really gone? He started to swim slowly, but something was different. Turbulence, on his back?


Narkal swam up towards the light hoping to find his mother where he last saw her. Approaching the surface swimming felt different—fluid in a new way. He launched himself out of the water where he’d last seen his mom, and like magic! He was air born!


The greatest view he’d ever seen! How had he not seen this world above the water—it was so clear now.


He launched his tiny body out of the water again and again. Had he grown a dorsal fin over night? But wait, it was moving in different directions. Narkal had magically grown wings! Now he could see a whole new world.


Narkal spotted another Great Rock and was driven to follow it. Do they have my mom? Wait! Where are you going?


Narkal skipped across the water. Diving down at times and drifting above at others. He followed the rock all day until it led him to an even greater rock—a rock that doesn’t float. It was a rock embedded in the ocean that seemed to stretch on for as far as Narkal could see.


For the first time in his life Narkal saw land. He realized the Great Rocks floating in the sea were not rocks at all. They were boats. It seemed these boats were congregating in one special location.

Narkal was so eager to explore. What is this place? Could his mom be somewhere at this bustling harbor? What else is beyond the port?