Salmon Rush Die

Salmo swam around listlessly.

He had enjoyed the party. It was always good to see old friends, especially those that had been with him every inch of the way. This was the last time they would see each other; he should make the most of it.

The party didn’t feel right though.

Salmo was part confused and part angry. Here they were, having this great celebration, feasting on smaller fish, shrimp and squid, and plankton for those so inclined, racing and chasing, smooching and shaking, and having good times, before everyone going on his or her own way in the morning. It was their great separation and return.

So what was his issue? Why was he creating a vortex while everyone else was dancing in rings? Was it because he was the only one not completing the cycle of life ordained to his kind?

Salmon must return to their natal streams. They must use their powers of heart and mind, and all six senses, to seek out their source. Why didn’t he want to do it?

Someone brushed past him. He felt a slick glide and a playful flick, and knew it was Salma. “What’s up,” she said, “not enjoying the grad party?”

He said, “I’ve told you before. I don’t feel the call. I’ve lived in the open ocean for many years, and don’t want to return to a little river.”

“But don’t you want to go home?”

Salmo slowed down. He often did this when thinking. Good job he didn’t need to think when killer whales were around; his manoeuvres then were purely driven by instinct.

He said, “But home – is that here or there? I can sense the river but don’t remember it; my knowledge of it is purely physical. My body transformed there, preparing me for a life in salt water; there was a period of adjustment, yes, in brackish water, but…”

“I remember that period too,” said Salma. “Older ones taught me to regulate fluid pressure. Sometimes it became too concentrated, and I felt fat and heavy, and sometimes it was too dilute, and all I could do was float. But it was a conscious process, don’t you remember, really?”

Salmo swam to the right and Salma followed him. They had both sensed dolphins ahead. Better steer away from them sooner rather than later.

Salmo said, “My chemistry changed. My body changed. My spirit changed. I became a sea creature. I had no reason to hold on to my past little life. It felt like something to leave behind.”

“But that’s our life’s purpose – to return.”

“I know that Salma. But don’t you think it’s strange that our bodies start to deteriorate as soon as we enter fresh water again? By heading to the place we call home, we’re killing ourselves. Why become salmon rushing to die? Instead of going back, I would rather go further on, somewhere new.”

“But that’s not our place, Salmo.”

“That’s the issue, sister. What is our place? I fear that my place doesn’t exist anymore. I sense the two-leggeds have stopped the great rivers, poisoned the waters of rivers that still flow, and destroyed the wetlands. If I’m making the last great journey of my life, I want to go somewhere worth going.”

He sensed there was also a positive effect to the two-legged’s dabbling. Global warming caused icecaps to melt, creating new currents and rivers. He could swim with these waters to many new places, and if he found a place of hope, he could yet complete his life cycle.

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2 Responses to “Salmon Rush Die”

  1. neat story!

  2. Good stuff Babar.

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