This is a folktale I wrote for one of my Literature classes. Please enjoy:
“SOME TIME AGO, in a time of great poverty, the people of El Golfo de Santa Clara, Mexico were in desperate need of money. Every day, the children would go out onto the dirt roads and search for coins, and the mothers would take off time from maintaining their homes to open fruit and vegetable stands in the village. But even with all of this, they still did not have enough money.
So the men had to go out on their little fishing boats with their nets to catch fish or shrimp. Slowly, the village became more and more wealthy. They were catching so many shrimp that they couldn’t even sell all of them! The entire village ate seafood every day, and times had never been better. The town started building bigger houses, and everyone sang and danced at night.
Occasionally, however, they would catch something in their nets called a Vaquita, a magical porpoise. It was so rare that most villagers did not even believe it existed. Seeing one was considered to be a good omen, but catching one was not. If you killed a Vaquita, you would be cursed with bad luck for a week. The fishermen could not let this risk keep them from fishing, however.
One day, a man caught a Vaquita. Afraid of getting bad luck, he threw the dead porpoise back into the water. Later that day, he was walking down the street and tripped over a rock. He broke both his wrists, rendering him useless as a fisherman for a long time. He was devastated, but in the back of his mind he knew that it was from catching that poor Vaquita.
A different man also caught a Vaquita, but he kept it onboard to bring it home to sell for meat. He was afraid that he would be cursed, but a few days went by without anything happening. Then one morning, when he went outside, he was shocked to see that all the houses were tiny again, all the tourists and buyers were gone, and the children were back in the streets picking up coins. The women were once more solemnly selling fruit and vegetables on the street corners. He saw a man who had broken wrists.
“Hello, sir. What happened to your wrists?”
“I caught a Vaquita, and on the same day I fell and broke my wrists.”
“I caught a Vaquita too, and now the entire village is poor again,” the man said. He knew that it was his fault.
But then the men got an idea. They went out in a boat to look for a Vaquita. After a while, they saw one of the beautiful creatures. It had its baby with it, which reminded the men of their families. They realized that the Vaquita deserved to live just as much as they did. With this realization, they returned to their village to share the news of the magical encounter. When they arrived, they were shocked by what they saw.
Everybody was dancing in the streets again. Their houses were bigger than ever. There were tables of rich meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains everywhere, and the entire village was cheering.
“God has given us back our wealth! Praise the Lord!”
The two men looked at each other. They knew that their encounter had caused this.
“Attention everybody! Today we saw a Vaquita with its baby. They were not in our net, but free, swimming in the ocean. This is how Vaquitas are meant to be seen. We must stop catching them with our nets. All of Earth’s creatures deserve to live, just like us. We got even more wealth from looking at those Vaquitas then we did when we caught them!”
The entire village went quiet. They all whispered to each other about what they just heard. “If we stop fishing and show people the Vaquita instead, we will be even richer! God wants us to protect His creatures!”
From that day on, the people of El Golfo de Santa Clara showed others the wonderful Vaquita, and they all lived happily ever after.”