LORD DOLPHIN INTRODUCES HIMSELF
Now who ever heard of a fish’s sitting up and telling his own story!
Oh, you needn’t laugh, you young Folks, perhaps you will find that I can make out very well, considering.
Of course I have been among “Folks,” else I could never use your language or know anything about you and your ways.
A message is not received direct from the depths of the sea very often, and especially from one of the natural natives. And then, there are very few fishes that ever have an experience like mine, and travel from one continent to another, going both by sea and by land.
You surely will open your eyes pretty widely at that, and wonder how a fish could go anywhere by land. Have patience and you shall hear all about it by and by.
I was born deep down in the Mediterranean Sea. That long name is no stranger. You have seen it many a time in your geographies. But could you tell the meaning of it, I wonder? I can! It means “Midland Sea,” and is so named from being so near the middle of the earth.
If the Mediterranean Sea should be pulled up and away, together with the space it occupies, my! what a hole there would be in the big round earth!
Nowadays, even the little Folks hear a great deal about Europe. Some of the family have very likely been there. Perhaps even small John or Elizabeth have themselves crossed the great ocean, sailing on a fine steamer to the coast of England or Ireland.
Oho! if you had fins and could spread them like sails, and cut through the water like a flash, you would have a very different idea of the word “distance” from what you have now.
I know “Folks” do not think it very nice to talk much about one’s self, but if there is no one else to introduce you, and it is necessary that those with whom you are talking should know the truth about you, it can be plainly seen that the only thing to do is to tell the personal story as modestly and as truthfully as possible.
When first I saw the light, deep down in the sea, I was quite a little fellow, and had a mother that took splendid care of me. She never had but one child at a time, and that one she watched over and tended with much affection until it was fully able to take care of itself.
My name is Dolphin, and the Dolphin family is a large one. One branch is of a very peculiar shape, and has a long and pointed nose or beak from which it is called the “Sea Goose,” or the “Goose of the Sea.” I belong to that branch, but as to being a goose, allow me to say I never was one and never shall be, not really and truly.
My head is round, and so large that it forms almost a third of my whole body. Many Folks travelling by water have seen Dolphins, as once in awhile we are obliged to toss our heads up out of the water in order to breathe, as we have lungs. Yet it is not necessary for us to breathe as Folks do, and we can blow out water in an upward stream from little holes that are over our eyes.