I know what some folks are going to tell me: that in real, otters are not so cute and they rape baby seals. Yeah, I know I am studying otters for long. Some rude folks have also told me similar things about lions too. I do not know, they leave this messages like if I am some kind of idiot which never worried to read about the animal…
However, talking about different species I would like to let clear one thing: humans are the only ones who lie. Or have you seen any bird or mammal painting his feathers or fur of another color for seduce a female? No, darlings, it does not work this way.
Not creature is perfect. Everybody has a flaw or other and, in fact, inside of the same species, there can be several “black sheep” which can make a whole group of creatures to have a tag which does not really correspond to them. Humans, by nature, are the specialist on this. Not only in to put tags. Or isn’t true, darlings, that humans also rape? In fact, our species are crueler and they do not need to make physical abuse or to attack to harm others but, I like to leave aside bad vibes.
I like to write things for kids of all ages. I am not sure if the rest of you could understand my reasons if I explain them. Probably, I will be misunderstood again. So better I do not explain anything.
I must confess I am having a lot of fun writing about otters but I was quite shocked in my researches because Benedict Cumberbatch almost showed up in each research. It was quite insane, actually, but more because I have not seen a bunch of his work. Seriously, it is quite shocking. I am not sure where all this otter thing with Cumberbatch comes from but, honestly, I finished a bit tired of it. For this reason, in the final manuscript (this is only a sneak peek) you are not going to find any otter called Ben BUT I had to put my mischief touch in his honor. Sorry Smaug, you have a nice voice. I do not doubt about your talent but, it was so fun in all this otter world to ignore the pinguins.
I hope any of you start to fall in love. Of otters, yes. Please, if you want, it is a good reason to preserve the species. I mean, with “fall in love”, do not start to look for metaphors about which otter represents who. They are just otters and they have come to my head as they have done smoosch or murlfs but they do not always represent someone or a relationship. And I am making this warning because it is not the first time that I publish something and somebody sees the whole story as a “love declaration” of any kind. I simply write. If you want to look for “secret” meanings it is up to you.
Have fun kids. Peace and Love (PAL)
Far away from the limits of Eronath, when the borders of the O’neya Cape abruptly converged with the Sian Cliff, there was a place that not a lot of humans dared to see.
The Naldian Mountains were one of the ranges more difficult to cross on the whole Ambrosia. The other mountains from the limit side were very high and abrupt too but nothing could be compared with the magnificence of the Naldian’s. These peaks separated the main human and Nùmenir Kingdoms from the Other Lands. Or, how the strange creatures which lived in this big territory called: “The Otter Lands”.
Nobody knows with exactitude why life was created so wild to the other side of these peaks. Although they were written some old legends about why humans or Nùmenir could not cross the Middle Side, none explained the origins of them; but, in fact, no one really cared so much about what happened on the other side; except, of course, to the ones who lived there.
The only pass to enter to the Otter Lands was cursed. It was the path to the Castle of Glass, close to the Oakwood Forest and to the limits of the Sh’eg’nïya. However, as it has been told, nobody in their right mind approached near those places. Probably, because everybody appreciated so much their existence.
The Otter Lands were coarse and rich, but they had a bit of madness in everything. Wild things happened here and there without so much explanation. For this reason, most creatures avoided exploring these lands without contemplation.
Next, to the Sian Cliff, the coast continued in the Otter Sea. On there, things did not happen following the ordinary rules. To start, if anybody tried to catch a fish, probably, the fish would insult the fishermen. Well, in fact, it would depend on the fish species because some were ruder than others.
In another hand, if you, suddenly, find yourself lost in those lands and you would like some fish to eat, let the job to an otter. They are the best for to do this kind of things. In exchange, and as an act of gratitude, they will only ask you for a paw shake or a fur hug; but, take care with this last one, you could finish soggy and mushy as a murlf.
The finest thing about otters behavior is they do not have behavior at all. They do not have jobs or to wake up at 5 a.m when an alarm clock sounds. They do not read newspapers because, obviously, they get wet and it is impossible to read them that way. They do not need to go out simply because is Saturday or Friday night but, above all, they do not need to explain to others what an otter does because it is an “otter thing” and, with that, they resolve everything.
The unique responsibility an otter has it is with the otter and with no one else on the sea, river or land. Of course, this does not mean otters are not helpful and handy if you require their assistance. Although, they are not really obliged to attend you for any moral code or doctrine like happens with other species.
However, there is a huge difference between sea otters and river otters, please, let me explain: none of them are called by a name. They are not nameless but they do not feel the necessity to put ordinary names to everybody to be called. Current names as Alice, Mary, Ben or Harry are not in the otter name’s style. Sea otters prefer something more meaningful as: “White Spot”, “Cuttie Nose”, “Flurry” or “Frisky”. In otter paw, river otters are quite formal. Probably, because they use to treat more with civilized species as marmots, rabbits or squirrels. For this reason, they use to name themselves with a number or a letter. In fact, this depends on the day they are having.
Otters are peaceful by nature. They love to enjoy their time in the water, grooming their fur, eating, playing and enjoying time with otters. Unfortunately, trouble follows them and they usually find themselves in the middle of chaos and madness. There are several stories written at respect about otter problems but, right now, it is not a good moment to tell them.
As they expend so much time in the water, sometimes, they forget they are mammals and not fishes. The Tale of Boggy is the one which narrates that story. For this reason, the Otter Council celebrated in the year 506 of the first age, Nùmenorian time, decided it was obligatory each otter carried always with them a stone. So, in case any of them could doubt about if they are fish or not, they could have a real thing which always will remember them where they come from.
A difference of other species, otters recognize their significant otter or mate not only with a sight. It is well known a lot of otters need glasses but they cannot use them because on water those artifacts do not work right. They identify their partners while they are “ottering” in their daily life. A lot of species cannot understand this. It is true, but an otter has not only been born otter for confusing you. They are here to share with all of us their eternal love. And to be the keepers or guardians of something untold. Because if they had named that sacred find, most of the world would be interested in it. And it will not be peace until somebody will find it on the sea or land. Not all the creatures in Ambrosia are natural wardens of the calm.
Whiskers Finds an Otter
“Oh Noes!” exclaimed Whiskers approaching his paws to his face. “Wher’a ther’all?” He had woken up from a delightful dream. He was eating the most delicious sea urchins that he had never tasted, and they never ran out. Magically, it came out a new sea urchin on the spot he had picked up the last one. He did not even need to swim to catch them. And each sea urchin was more delicious than the one he had eaten before.
Now, he was in the middle of the open sea and nobody was around. He had drifted away and now he was lost. Probably, he did not attach right the kelp to his body? No, he was sure he had done it well. In fact, he had over his head a remaining seaweed dripping on his nose. He removed it and he noticed there were several more tiny pieces stuck to his hair and floating around the water.
“Thes is not a surprises party…” said Whiskers worried. He put his paws around his mouth and he screamed. “Wher’a you all!” Nobody answered him. He was definitely alone. “A’right, otter, time to applies the Otter Emergency Protocol.”
The Otter Emergency Protocol was a series of rules each otter needed to learn by heart. They were imposed by the Otter Council as a law for every single otter on sea, river or land but they were not only an obligatory measure. They were, in fact, a survival series of procedures which guaranteed any otter could be alive in difficult cases like attacks, poisoning, lack of warmth or drifts. The OEP norms were very simple but useful. They had been tested for otters along the years. Actually, they were more a warranty of surviving than a series of rules. The OEP said:
- Check yours furs. No holes, no bloods, no mess. Must be fluffy and full of airs.
- Hurries! A lot to does. Be quick or troubles will find youes.
- Makes a splash and eats away. Thes will keeps troubles in theirs way. Not in otter way.
- Ask an otter or anotter.
- Check yours pockets and reachs for yours stars. It will tells youes where is your hearths.
- Swims and dances. It is what otters knows to does bestes.
Whiskers looked around again. It was not any sign of life around him. Definitely, he had drifted away. It had arrived the time to apply the OEP.
He checked his fur. Everything seemed okay. He looked around again but nothing was there: not a soul, a bird or a piece of land. It was time to go down to eat and to ask.
He dove into the cold waters but they were quite lonely. Whiskers was not sure of what happened but it seemed like if everybody had disappeared. His heart skipped a beat. For a moment he thought the evil Nymphadora had just cursed him with one of her spells.
He kept dancing and swimming until he found some broken pieces of kelp. Then, he knew it was the same kind to which he had attached himself. “My starts! Otter is closes!” Suddenly, he felt happy and full of hope. So, he kept dancing and swimming following the traces of lost kelp which were scattered all around.
Whiskers advanced and advanced in the sea until he arrived at a point in which kelps covered almost everything. It was practically impossible to see the sea. They were only thick groups of seaweed around him but it was impossible to see any land near. What could have happened on home to have done all that mess? Definitely, that really worried Whiskers thinking about where otters could be. Have been they drifted away too? Or Nymphadora killed them? No, it was sad to think that way.
He moved his paw and he found his secret pocket until he reached his star again. To him, it was the most beautiful rock on earth and it was the one which was helping him to find his way.
Suddenly, a group of kelp near him moved in a strange way. Whiskers was scared, but, like he was touching his star, it gave to him the courage that he needed to overcome anything. He warned against any trouble and he took his paws outside the water ready to punch, grab and to bite.
A splash of water make him more wet than he was, leaving him partially blind. He only heard a strident girlish voice: “ARSGRS! I’M GOING TO EATS YOUES!”
Whiskers splashed water and pieces of kelp over her face letting her blind. He had, partially, recovered his sight but it was enough to watch her trying to clear herself so quick as she could. “No. Otter doesn’t eats otter,” said he.
She removed quickly the big junk of seaweed which covered her eyes and she tried to focus on him quick. It was hard to see him but it was clear he was an otter too and not another thing. “Sorries, I guesses youes trouble and no otter.”
“Ha, ha, ha, ha, do youes guesses youes can scares otter screaming likes that?” said Whiskers amused.
“It has worked with a pengwing…” said her a bit ashamed.
She had a sweet voice when she did not scream. It remembered him the sweet voice of his mother when she sang for him otter lullabies. She also had a small nose with a very roundish shape to be an otter but he did not recognize her from his raft. He asked her: “What’s yours otter names?”
“Otters calls otter Cutie Nose. And youes?”
“Otter is Whiskers. Good to meets youes otter. Haves youes drifted toes?”
“Otter is afraid. It seems all otters are far away. What happened?”
“Not sure, otter, but we, otters, will finds our way. Haves youes reached yours star yet?”
Cutie Nose put her paw on her forehead. “My pockets! Otter forgots abouts! Here was so much troubles around.”
“It’s okay, my otter, youes can do it nows. Otter will keeps the eyes open for youes.”