She was an adorable baby seal. She had lived with her mother on an ice flow all of her young life. She was special. Why? Because when the hunters came for their annual slaughter, they did not kill her. Her brothers and sisters were killed all around her, but the leader of the expedition, Helmut Kost, had selected her as his best choice for a gift to bring home to his children. He was a wealthy man and could care easily for an extravagant and out of the ordinary pet like this. His children loved her right from the start, and she loved them. The children were named Star and Micah. Star was the oldest, a girl, who was twelve, and Michah, who was 9, was her younger brother. The baby seal loved the children very much and quickly became an integral part of the family, however, she never felt completely comfortable with the father of the family, Helmut, for she knew he was a killer of her kind. Where they lived in Canada, it was snowy all of the time. Micah and Star spent many hours every day playing in the snow with the baby seal. They had named her Boardwin because she followed them everywhere like a dog, but when she got tired she would make her funny sounding seal bark, stop, and insist they put her on one of their snowboards for a ride for the rest of the way. She became very spoiled, always expecting a free ride. Hopping along could be quite tiresome, and the children understood. So they obligingly pulled her along on one of their snowboards. She would win, so her name became Boardwin. One day, they were all playing on the ice that covered the freezing waters of the lake. Star fell down and the pressure of her fall made the ice break at the edge where she had been running. She fell through the ice and into the frigid water. Star had been to close to the edge of the ice, and she floated out into the water. The coldness of the water immediately numbed her beyond resistance, and the current was taking her further out. Boardwin immediately dived into the freezing water and was beside Star. Boardwin nuzzled her to keep her warm and alert. Somehow Boardwin was smart enough and protective enough to understand the seriousness of the situation immediately. Boardwin knew that Star was in danger. Micah had no choice but to leave for help. He couldn’t reach his sister, she was too far out in the water. So he ran home to fetch his father. Helmut wasted no time bringing his water raft sliding behind him, he put it into the water and went out to Star. He then grabbed a hold of her and pulled her out of the water and into the boat. After he pulled Star out, he reached down in the water and grabbed a hold of Boardwin, and yanked her into the boat as well. All of them had been heroes, but Boardwin had been extremely important in keeping Star alert and afloat. Boardwin was a true hero. Boardwin had saved Star. As the children grew older, they started to understand what their father did for a living, and they wanted to know how he could kill Boardwin’s brothers and sisters. The father replied matter of factly that this was the way he made his living, but they could see that there was a strange look of discontent in his eyes, as if by being around Boardwin, and growing to know and love Boardwin, had brought about an appreciation, understanding, and love that he hadn’t had before. It also made him uncomfortable with what he was doing, by slaughtering all of those baby seals. His children begged him to stop, and find some other way to make a grand profit. And he listened. He listened because he loved his children, and because he had grown to love Boardwin. Boardwin wasn’t just a seal anymore, Boardwin was a part of the family. He knew that his lack of participation would not stop the seal slaughter for it was too profitable. However, he did not need to participate in it and making a stand might sway others to do the same. So he quit leading the hunting expeditions, and he chose to lead another path, although it wasn’t as easy. He had had a change of heart, and he had the courage to make a stand even if it was a hard thing to do. This was something that only truly brave and wise men experience.
JANE Á PARIS
Copyright ©2008 JANE Á PARIS
This is a story I wrote for children and baby seals. It teaches about evolving to see something in a different light and it teaches about learning to love, sacrifice, having courage, and making a stand.