Chapter 25: A Fairy Tale, The End
What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man.
All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth.
If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.
This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.
This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family.
All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls sons of the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself.
Some of the greatest words ever written, by a "savage".
Chief Seattle 1855
A Fairy Tale
After a last swim with Freddy in 1992, he disappeared into the sunset with a pod of dolphins. It finally dawned on him that he was wasting time on humans and was going back to be among his own kind, a more intelligent, less violent, species. Amble town council announced that to celebrate the dolphin's life and time in Amble, which had boosted the town's economy, they were to erect a statue in his honour.
The dolphinarium owners at Flamingo Land announced its closure and stated that dolphins Betty, Lottie and Sharky would be, after a one year rehabilitation programme, released back into the Atlantic Ocean, the place from where they were stolen in 1983 and 1984. They would once again be wild dolphins, not mere caricatures of their true selves. Flamingo Land also announced that a percentage of the large profits they had made from the performing dolphins would be donated into projects protecting wild dolphins.
In 2013, I was still cycling and walking long distances as I thought I would be twenty years ago when I reached this age in my life. Standing trial in Crown court and MS had just been really bad nightmares.
Sadly real life bears little resemblance to the fairy tale endings that are only in Hollywood films. Justice is only occasionally served in real life, and usually it is the good and the innocent who suffer and the indifferent and bad who prosper. A few battles in the war against animal mistreatment are won, but more are lost. If this reads as pessimism then so be it, then that's what I am, and optimists are self delusional. It doesn't mean if you are a pessimist that you give up, it just means you know you are pissing against the wind. By not giving up some great pleasure has been given to me in the last few years by helping the children I sponsor and seeing how relatively small amounts of money have helped to keep a girl in school in Zimbabwe, helped a girl in Burma get to school and also put a new roof on a school in that country.
Before the curtain falls, that is how I see the future for me, helping with modest humanitarian projects which can have a real effect on peoples lives and which we in the relatively rich west are mostly able to afford, should we chose to help. "In this life, we cannot do great things, only small things with great love", Mother Teresa.
I might even seek out some wild dolphins too, if my health permits.
Perhaps there is a person or two reading this book whose lives were touched like mine by Freddy and who may want to contact Amble town council to ask them to have a statue erected and make my fairy tale ending read true fact? If that ever happened, I would imagine him chuckling with laughter underneath his blubber and thinking, I told them I was famous!
Goodbye and thanks for all the fish - Douglas Adams.
There is no justice, just us - A.L.F.