Folktale

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.”

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Update; Book drive to fund expedition

In order to help fund ¡Viva Vaquita!’s photographic expedition scheduled for September 23 – October 16, 2013, they are accepting donations of any marine mammal books. I took this as the perfect opportunity to send Tom Jefferson my book. If you have any marine mammal literature lying around your house, please contact Tom Jefferson (see below). This expedition will be so important for the Vaquita and interesting for Vaquita enthusiasts not only because the scientists will be able to make sure the Vaquita is still alive and hopefully see a bunch, but also because they could get some new photographs that could be very important for Vaquita education in the future. They are also bringing over 1000 Spanish Vaquita coloring books to distribute to the local schools! Here is what ¡Viva Vaquita!’s website says about the book drive:

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MARINE MAMMAL BOOKS AND REPRINTS WANTED

¡Viva Vaquita! is requesting marine mammal books, reprints, monographs, and journals. Literature can be donated or we can purchase sets of books, reprints, and journals. We make the literature available to colleagues working on marine mammals, getting it into hands where it will be actively used, and in the process help to raise funds for research and conservation work on the Vaquita. Donations are tax-deductible, and we may be able to arrange pick-up of large quantities of literature. We are currently collecting literature to help fund our Sept/Oct 2013 expedition to San Felipe, and to conduct education work with local organizations and school groups in Mexico. If you have any literature you would be interested in donating or selling to us, please contact Tom Jefferson at sclymene@aol.com.

Nets

Recently I have started another Vaquita book, this time a fictional adult novel. It is called Nets, and is about both a pod of Vaquita and a local fisherman. I am also still working on my informational children’s book, Vaquita. My brother and I are both painting Vaquita pictures to either sell or use for publicity. I will start to post some more artwork that my siblings or I have made in the past. I will post some progress reports in the future.

Book

About a month ago I started the rough draft of something I’ve been thinking about for a long time: a Vaquita book. There are no books about the Vaquita in the entire world! I love writing stories in my free time, so I thought it would be a perfect idea to write the world’s first Vaquita book. The book is a non-fiction children’s book, but adults should find it very informative as well. I am getting my information from various internet and book sources (I will obviously give them credit). I will give Vaquita experts my rough draft so they can make sure all of the information is 100% accurate. One of my friends from tennis knows a publisher, so hopefully he will be able to work with it! I will post updates on this topic whenever they are needed.