Sunday, June 21, 2020

Papa and the dolphin

It's day two of the five day June #OpenWrite at  Ethical ELA . Today's prompt was entitled "small fiction" - the challenge was to begin with an actual event, person, incident - some basis in fact - and turn it into a bit of fiction, have a little fun with it. Not sure why my mind wandered back in time to a story my Dad would share about swimming in the ocean once, and having a dolphin nudge up against him. I had a little fun writing this - and it seems like a children's fable now.

Papa and the Dolphin

In the middle of his swim,

making laps along the shore,

Papa saw he wasn’t alone,

there were dolphins by the score.


He began to swim away,

wanting to let them be,

when one lifted him up, and

dropped him right into the sea.


Papa sank deep down under,

came back up with a sputter,

the dolphin just smiled,

clapping his fins with a flutter.


Papa, astonished, said,

“Wait, you did that for fun?”

The dolphin explained,

“You seemed a lonely one.”


So began a friendship,

a playful one at that,

the two would meet daily

when Papa swam his laps.


When you are given the chance

to befriend someone new,

try kindness and laughter,

plus an open point of view.

These are the responses I received on the Ethical ELA website:

Tammi Belko
Tammi Belko

What a great message. Love the joy that is spread in this piece.

glenda funk
glenda funk

indeed, your poem is a fable. I love the playfulness and the cadence, which replicated the ocean sounds. I can see this lyric as a picture book. The last stanza is my favorite. We can’t go wrong w/ kindness and laughter. Thank you.

gayle sands
gayle sands

This would be a beautiful children’s book! If I could illustrate, I would begin today. But I can only admire…

Linda Mitchell
Linda Mitchell

So wonderful! The language is playful and light and inviting. Papa and the Dolphin needs to grow into a book!

Andrea Busby

Maureen, what a great message! Even as he tries to be respectful of their space, his respect grants him a place in that community. I think that is an important message, especially when paired with “try kindness and laughter/plus an open point of view.” Allow people to be and you will find yourself being with people.
Thank you!


This poem was magical, Maureen. I love the way the lines seemed playful in their beat and rhyme. These lines really sank into my heart: Papa, astonished, said,
“Wait, you did that for fun?”
The dolphin explained, 

“You seemed a lonely one.”


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