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From the Island Kids story “Luna the Whale, Our Tsu-xiit”

Cory Howard Jr.

Gold River, 2004

We’d heard the whale was close by, so after school, Vince, Ashley, and I went down to the docks. People lined the shore, crowding the edges of the wharf, trying to spy the black and white silhouette as it slipped above and below the surface of the water. My brother Vince and I pushed through the crowd while our cousin Ashley waited for us to find a spot, but everybody else wanted the perfect view too. I crouched down to peer between the grownups’ knees, but that still wasn’t good enough.

“It’s not fair how all these tourists get the best view,” Ashley said. “He chose to live with our people, so we should get to see him first.”

“Maybe we’ll see better on the stairs?” I suggested. That place wasn’t as close to the water, but at least it would give us some height. I didn’t want to miss this chance to see Luna for the first time. We climbed halfway up the stairs, and hoped we’d be able to see him over the heads of all the people.

“This won’t work,” Vince said. “He won’t come this close to the docks. We’ll never get to see him up close from here.”

Then the whale surprised everybody.

The sleek orca slipped under the docks and surfaced within a few feet of where we were standing! A jet of mist from his blowhole told everybody he was here. He was inky black; he blended with the sea at first. The whale rolled over, showing off his creamy white tummy, and took a close look at us with his dark, black eye. He wasn’t looking at the adults on the docks; he was looking right at us. Then he lifted his fin, the size of a garbage can lid, and waved at us. We jumped up and down and waved back as hard as we could, hoping he could see us before he slipped below the water again.

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Rocky Mountain Kids

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