Spinner rested just beneath her mother, Two Nicks, in the gentle bay, listening to the other dolphins chattering busily to each other. She was a member of the southern pod of the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins. A family group, who traveled many miles each day, up and down the coast of the island. There would be great adventures in the days ahead for this tiny dolphin. For now the entire pod waited in the warm shallow waters for the babies to drink their mothers' nourishing milk, practice swimming and grow stronger.
As Spinner quietly circled the bay with her aunties and the other babies, Tulip, Whitey and Arrow, her mother touched and caressed her lovingly. How happy she felt. This was her home and her family. Other dolphins swam side by side with her, watching over her. The sparkling blue water danced with sunlight.
Spinner was filled with wonder about this ocean world she had
entered. She was Two Nicks first baby and being only 18 inches
in length at birth, she was small but never the less active and
curious. Daring to leave her mother's side, she began to move
her tail up and down, as fast as she possibly could, to swim alongside
the other dolphins and listen to their conversations. The adults
were sounding each other about the pods of Spotted Dolphins they
had swam among last night and about the boats, schools of fish
and the beautiful manta ray they had seen.
Spinner was more interested in experimenting with how fast she could swim, so she pushed her tail even harder against the water and continued to move from one group of dolphins to another. She found she could turn sharply down and swim toward the bottom where the soft white sand came quickly toward her. Then she turned upward and played in the rays of sunlight on the surface. The water felt so good as tiny bubbles tickled her skin.
"Spinner! Spinner!" Her mother was calling her. Spinner
listened to the sound of her mother's voice and felt very warm
inside. This would be her name throughout her life. She began
to practice it, trying to mimic her mother and the other dolphins
who now joined-in to call her.
She knew her mother's voice from the ten months of being in the womb and so she easily located Two Nicks in the midst of all the other sounds. Learning to call her mother, she heard herself making little squeaks. She liked the sound of her own voice and began to practice her own name, "Spinner, Spinner." What did it mean?
Reading Spinner's thoughts, Two Nicks responded: "Remember when you were still in the womb and all of the other dolphins were singing and talking to you, telling your their stories? Well, your favorite story was told to you by Wrinkley who once spun out of the ocean and into the air 33 times in a row. You wanted to hear that story over and over and over again! . . . . And that was why we all began to call you "Spinner."
Oh yes, Spinner remembered now, how she impatiently waited to be born into the ocean so she could learn to fly in the air like Wrinkley.
Thinking about that, made Spinner want to try to jump out of the water right now. She turned her long nose, called a rostrum, down toward the sand. Her movements were not as smooth as the older dolphins. Unconcerned, she bumpily began swimming down until she reached the shallow bottom of the bay. And then turning slowly upward toward the light of the Sun, Spinner began waving her little tail very fast, thinking, "This is how to do it. I am sure. I won't give up. I'm going faster and faster to the surface. I'll keep moving my tail, harder and faster. I'm not afraid. Head for the sun! Go into the sun. Up and out! Out of the water! Now twist, twist, twist around. Think of Wrinkley! Think of spinning! Think of flying! Once! Twice! Oh! I'm doing it! I'm doing it!
Down I go!"
"I did it! I flew out of the water and made two spins in the air. I did it!"
Spinner was so excited she zipped quickly around the surface
looking for Two Nicks. "Now I understand my name!"
Finding her proud mother, Spinner sang her name over and over, "My name is Spinner and now I know why! My name is Spinner and I'm learning to fly!"
Two Nicks sent feelings of love to her precious little one and tucked her under her fin. Feeling content, Spinner drank some milk and rested sleepily in her mother's water flow stream, quietly lulled into dolphin dreamtime.