Dear Mr. Adventure,
I am Brevicauda*, the mightiest and the bravest whale alive. As wise advice given by my buddy, Bottlenose, I decided to write you a letter. the one and only in water, air, and land that wise enough to answer all of my questions, I know Mr. Adventure, it’s hard to find you. Because only one with the bravest soul can touch you, but I believe I have it. So, I think this letter will find its way to you. Before that let me tell you a story about me and my brave journey. Although sometimes Bottlenose said that it was the stupidest decision, I had ever made.
One morning, when the water was getting warmer, I followed my mom’s tail like always. Splashed our tails across the Indian Ocean to the Banda Sea. She screamed, asked me not to swim too far. Then along with her nagging song, a loud noise startles and distracts us. Shakes the water and spread the terror straight to my ear. I knew that it often happened, but it became more intense in the last few seasons. Mom always reminded me to follow her or aunty ‘closely’ when something like that happened. But far from fear, this terror was unable to hold the curiosity Mr. Alfredii* planted in me. I have to run away! Free from all the rules made by mom and aunty. A journey of my own! You shall not blame me. I truly need to wander the wider world. I surely enchanted by Mr. Alfredii’s story about the legendary old Cachalot* who fights against the floating object and strange land animals on it. He also told me the story of the elegant Miss Bluebride*, who travels around the world on her own and spook the language nobody understood. He said that Miss Bluebride was the most authentic lady he had ever seen. So, as I pushed by the urge to dare myself to begin my very own journey, I swam in the opposite direction.
As I swam far to the east, I heard my mom mourning, yelling, cursing, and offer a thousand promises, which I knew was a trap to lure me back. Only a calf would fall for that trick. I don’t know why all mothers think we would buy it? I will be five this winter. It means ‘SOON’! An absolutely ‘soon’ that gives me a right to claim myself as a five-year-old, young brave whale.
On day three, when I kept my track to the east, I met a Nautilus*, floating with uncertainty. So, I asked him, whether he had ever seen Miss Bluebride or not? He answered with his unsure blank face, insisting that I would find my luck if I travel to the north. Well, I really didn’t want to believe in his crap, but my choice was limited. I wouldn’t let any possibility run out of my flipper. So, I decided to travel to the north.
It wasn’t long after I started to swim to the north when I met Bottlenose. He’s traveling with his huge families and friends. He offered me a short travel companion and showed me the best spot to find krill around. Bottlenose was a really nice guy. He’s just talking too much. I couldn’t understand most of his words. At the time we were about to say our farewell, a gang of Orcas suddenly appeared. I knew what would happen. I had seen it before. When I was young, a gang of Orcas attacked me, my mom, and my aunty. It was never a lucky day for the Orcas to meet my mom. She’s so fierce, she’s giving them a huge slap with her huge tail, and only after a few slaps, they’d fly away. But mom wasn’t there at that time and I was in tremendous danger. It would be my own fight.
Bottlenose asked me to swim away and follow him, but he’s too fast. Some older Orcas chased his pod, while I tried my best to swim away from the rest of the gang. Now I feel terrible. I slap my tail to the water, wishing that the wave I made was huge enough to make them leave me alone, but it didn’t work. Then I slap them with my flipper and they bite me for it. At that moment I really want to curse the legendary Poseidon.
Why didn’t you give me teeth?
Oh, bloody flipper, I wish I had teeth. I tried my best, but it seems like a never-ending battle. I was about to give up when a huge old whale saved me. He slaps all the Orcas like it’s a krill. It took a while to finally make them give up and run away.
I was bruised and weary, but magically survived. The old whale asked me if I was alright and I said, I am.
“They’re nasty!” I said,
The old whale’s chuckling while spouting water out of his hole.
“Why are you here all alone kid? I don’t think you are old enough to travel by yourself,” he said.
“Well, I don’t believe that I’m too young for this. It’s just because my family has a smaller body than my other cousins.” protest me,
“Well, thanks sir for helping me. I am Brev, by the way.”
“And I like to be called Mega, it’s Mega like the way you mention that orange sky.”
He was so handsome if I can be honest. And please forgive me sir to include an unimportant conversation between the handsome old whale and me. But that experience made me proud of myself. Even if I have to suffer a plethora of scars. I still survived without mom and aunty. Only if I can be honest and please with all respect, I wish you will not tell anyone that it’s actually quite scary. I wish I knew where I was heading, or if I’m in the right direction. I wish Mega could join me but apparently, he couldn’t. Now I finally feel terrified. How, if another gang Orcas bully me again? How, if I lost to the death zone or even to the coast? How, if this journey is really for nothing and I can’t meet Miss Bluebride? How, if all this time mom, aunty, Bottlenose, and Mega was right? I am too young for this adventure?
All this ‘How, if’ was really frustrating!
I could sense fear crawled and eat my sanity. All I could think was ‘How am I supposed to survive after this? Should I follow the path ahead and let the hand of time show me my way, or should I give up and come back to find mom and aunty?'
Eventually, Mega saw a fear written clearly on my face and he told me to ‘Face it and Fix it.' No matter how great that wise sounds like, it has failed to empower me. But, Mega said that few magic words might work to overcome my anxiety. So, I was humming it along the way.
‘I am the bravest whale alive!’, ‘I am the bravest whale alive!’, ‘I am the bravest whale alive!’.
Mega shared a piece of wisdom before he left, ‘The only way to become the bravest whale is by befriending yourself. The only one born with responsibility for your safety, happiness, and life is yourself. So, stand for yourself! Because once you separate from me to find whatever you look for, you’ll be all by yourself. There will be more than just Orcas who can hurt you. Only if you think you are strong enough to take care of yourself then find a kind of you to be your company. Find the one who accepts you just the way you are, don’t find the one who put you to the edge of misery for the sake of sacrifices. Together you’ll be stronger to protect each other. That’s how those Orcas could be strong and fearless. Because they take care of each other. But, if you can’t find one, at least you won’t be alone, since you are the best friend of yourself.’
So Mr. Adventure, it’s been a month since I started my journey and I wasn’t able to hear my mom’s song at this point. It wasn’t easy, but I tried my best. I have been lucky along the way. Fear has become my beloved companion. I decided to not hide from it. I’ll walk with it.
Well, I don’t know where I am now. Somewhere which plethora of Mega’s family rests. It's a beautiful place and the waters are warm enough to remind me of home.
As for the questions I would like to ask you,
‘Who am I and who is fear?’
‘Why is it powerful enough to make me miss home and doubt myself?’
I know that I can’t come back to the past now. So, I decided to swim ahead with whatever was waiting for me. I choose it. So surely, I have to take responsibility for my decision. I am not sure if I have been really brave or pretend to be one. No matter if one is fake or true, I’ll try my best to face it. Even a fake brave still has a brave in it. Oh, Mr. Adventure, I’ll wait for your answer while wandering around the ocean together with my journey to find Miss Bluebride. Anytime you find me ready for the answer, I’ll always be ready to learn.
The Bravest Whale Alive
Mr. Alfredii: Manta reef, Manta alfredii
Miss Bluebride: Unidentified species of 50Hz Whale
Cachalot: Sperm Whale
Brevicauda: Subspecies of Blue Whale, Pygmy Blue Whale, Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda