Katrina M Barnett664

1 LMU Drive MSB 6689

Los Angeles, CA 90045

805-415-2159

Humphrey The Whale

Around the dawn of time (some argue it was half past, but experts agree at a compromise: dawn of all things: 05AM), God set His hand to the sea. From His touch flowed the waters and creatures big and small- hosts of goldfish (rather monstrous back then), octopi, eels, and the smallest of plankton. As God studied these blissful creations it occurred to Him what He of course knew what was going to occur to Him at that time (because he's God an He knows these things). The tiny water creations needed someone to look out for them. Someone to remind them of God's own fearfully grand but loving ways. A gentle giant to cast its shadow over questionable underwater activity- a Whale. His name was Humphrey.

From the moment Humphrey first opened his eyes, however, he was dissatisfied. He felt large and cumbersome in the sea, and compared to all of the other frightening or flashy little fish he felt ridiculous. He did not feel graceful at all, as God had intended him to be. Instead, he felt father grouchy. After only so many failed attempts to relate to the other fish, Humphrey surrounded himself with seaweed, barnacles, and only the best vegetarian sea cuisine. He was so desperately unhappy that one day, about 100 years (or seconds) after the fall of man, he had a word with the Man Upstairs.

"I don't like it here," Humphrey said, declaratively, trying not to sound ungrateful. "Well, I could make another one of you," God said. Humphrey considered this. "No," He said. "It's not that. It's just that the ocean is just too small for me." God pretended to consider this, then suggested Humphrey find himself a new habitat. "Take me to live with you," Humphrey said. "No, no," God replied. "Beside Me is a spot reserved for those who leave the earth alive. You can't be up here. But I'll tell you what, I'll take you as high as I can."

As soon as Humphrey realized God was not making a pot reference (because Whales are very hip to that kind of thing [whales also have much better jokes than this storyteller]), he felt himself being lifted from the sea and through the air. From the sky Humphrey gazed at his ocean below. "Oh, but it is beautiful from here," he said. "Just wait," was replied to him. Humphrey fell quiet as he glided through the clouds and gazed at the shadow that he cast over the valleys and homes below. He sighed again. "It's beautiful up here, too," he murmured, watching the land creatures scuttle about. "But I'm still too big for this place."

So up and up and on he ascended. In fact, he began to soar through the air at an alarming speed, ever and ever upward. He closed his eyes with fear until he felt a sudden chill, and once again he felt weightless, as if he were in the water again. He opened his eyes with trepidation, only to see the most beautiful sight, a sight not even yet seen by man- the galaxy. Dark and glorious, this strange new land sparkled and swirled in all ways overwhelming- its darkness was forever but, alternately, so was its light. Humphrey shook with delight. He soared through space, brushing against the stars, occasionally colliding with fast-moving rocks on their way to someplace (though these bothers would glance right off), in search of "land"; an end to the endlessness.

He passed planet by planet by moon by milky way by black hole, time and time again, yet never did he find a conclusion. At last! "At last," an exhausted Humphrey declared. "I have found a home big enough for me!" Contentedly, Humphrey resolved to dedicate his life to the exploration of this strange new beauty. He never faltered. He was never lonely. And Humphrey, alone but not quite, at last felt graceful and loved among the stars.

It is his home still.