Eddie was now five and his parents had mutually decided that it was time to allow him to take his bath alone.
“No, Mummy and Daddy. Please, I’m afraid of the water!” He cried.
“Well, honey,” said his Mum, “We’ve already thought about that. Just take a look at what your Father has got for you.”
Eddie’s father then pulled out a small packet from inside his left side trouser pocket. Eddie’s eyes grew wide with excitement.
“Oh, thank you, Mummy and Daddy; a birthday gift. Can I open it now?”
They stared at one another and nodded.
“Alright, go ahead, but first close your eyes tightly and make a wish.” Said Eddie’s Father. “You see, it’s not an ordinary gift. It’s a symbol of good luck.” Eddie’s Mum poked him with her elbow.
“Sshh, John. You’ll ruin the surprise.”
“Sorry, Janet. Well, go on, Eddie, please open it. We want to see your reaction.” Eddie wasted no time and carefully tore the wrapping. Indise, was a very beautiful model of a blue whale. Eddie was so happy that he began to jump up and down.
“Oh, thank you, Mummy and Daddy. I love you both.” They both gave him a hug and a kiss and he promised to take a bath with his new friend who he named Nimba right away.
“Come on, Nimba, let’s go and take our bath. It’s going to be great fun!” Eddie’s parents both held hands and smiled as he ran upstairs and into the bathroom. The bathtub was already filled with some water. Just enough for them. Once Eddie undressed and got in, he placed Nimba in the water and she began to spurt out bubbles from its breathing hole.
“Wow! It’s just like a real whale.” He held her up in his hands and just then, it winked back at him and slipped out from his grip and back into the water.
Nimba swam around the bathtub, back and forth as Eddie stared in excitement.
“Nimba, you are real, aren’t you? Talk to me.” In reply, the blue whale gently tapped Eddie on the big toe of his right foot with her fin. Suddenly, Eddie began to shrink smaller and smaller, until he was as small as Nimba. But somehow, he did not feel afraid with his friend and decided to climb onto her. Once safely on Nimba’s back, the blue whale did something very unusual. She began to move towards the plug.
“Woooh, Nimba, careful. Watch you don’t unplug it or else we’ll both be sucked in through the pipe” Nimba seemed sure of herself and with one flick of her tail, knocked it out.
“Woooh oh!” Yelled Eddie, as they were pulled in. The moment they were through, Eddie found himself in the sea. That wasn’t all. He felt himself changing; growing up into a young man in his twenties and all of a sudden, Nimba began to grow into her full size as had Eddie. He simply could not believe what he saw. She just kept growing and growing and groin. In fact, so much so that al he could see was an organic wall of blue light. For the first time, Eddie felt the immense power and gentleness of Nimba.
“She must be at least five hundred feet in length. Even for a blue whale, that’s very rare.”
Just then, Nimba began to sing out, as whales do. It was a beautiful high pitched sound. Perhaps she was calling to her companions. Eddie was even smaller than Nimba’s eyeball, but somehow, he was not afraid. The water was blue green as the light from the sun-lit sky above, reflected into it. How could only watch as Nimba glided along and decided to ask her.
“Nimba, where are taking me?” In reply, she momentarily stopped to allow him to grab onto her right flipper and then continued forward trough the open water. Eddie realised at theat moment that he could actually talk and breath down here and there was a simple reason for this. He had grown a set of gills on either side of his neck which his magical companion had given him, so that she could show him her world.
Nimba’s movements were so gentle and soothing as she glided through the water that Eddie’s eyes began to droop and close, until he drifted into deep sleep. It was undeniably the best sleep he had ever had. But, when he awoke, e felt very cold and saw seals and penguins swimming all around. It was then that he guessed they must have journeyed here to the Arctic Sea. It w almost as if she was searching for others, just like herself.
Once again, she began to sing. And this time, there was a reply. Nimba was so overwhelmed in joy, that she sprang up from out of the water and into the air. At that moment, Eddie had enough time to catch a glimpse of where exactly he was.
“Yes, this is definitely the Arctic.” They were amidst snow caps as far as the naked eye could see and in the far distance, he even observed polar bears on the move. It was as if Nimba was telling him that,
“Look, Eddie. This is where I live. This is my world. Please respect and preserve ii.”
And when Eddie realised this, there was a sudden glow of wisdom on his face. He suddenly knew everything. It was almost Biblical, just like all the great prophets before him: he too had been enlightened. Nimba then dived back into the sea and finally found what she had been searching for. Her search had ended and to Eddie’s surprise, another blue whale accompanied with her calf had appeared.
All three whales began to sing in co-ordination and afer that, they swam alongside one another. This must have been Nimba’s family, re-united in a beautiful act of love, never witnessed by any human on Earth. Eddie, who up until now, was still holding onto Nimba’s fin, decided that it was now time to let her go. His eyes momentarily filled with tears. But these were not tears of pain; they were tears of joy. He thanked the Lord for allowing him to witness such a rare spectacle. After all, the blue whale was the largest life-form on our planet and it was very much alive and well.
As this was the future, it just occurred to Eddie that he may well have contributed to their safety. May be, just may be, Nimba had magically transported him into his own future, perhaps to say,
“Thank you for doing what you did for all of us.”
Eddie also realised that this must have been his own destiny. The reason that God had sent him down to the Earth, to save not only Nimba, but all the remaining blue whales. And once this spark of reality entered his consciousness, he suddenly felt a gentle tap from Nimba’s tail, just like before, and there followed a blinding flash of light.
All at once, he was that same five year old boy in his bathtub. But this time, there was no water and no Nimba. There then followed the sound of rushing footsteps and the bathroom door burst open, abruptly. It was Eddie’s Mother. She saw him with a wise look of a learned man across his face and then asked in a gentle and soothing voice,
“Eddie, are you alright?” “Have you finished your bath?” “And; where’s Nimba?”
Eddie looked straight into his Mother’s eyes and gave an innocent smile and replied softly,
“Oh, she’s perfectly fine. She’s just one for swim.” After which he placed the plug back tightly into its hole, in contention.