Sunday 25 June 2023

D’aneter, a Porpoise with a Purpose - Flash Fiction by Ken Kapp


D’aneter, a Porpoise with a Purpose

Flash Fiction

by Ken Kapp


            A long time ago there was a specially determined dolphin named D’aneter. He took exception to the prominent, elongated snouts found in many dolphin species. The dolphins thought this was beautiful and went to great lengths fastening boards to the heads of their young to achieve this effect. (The board was later adopted by human cultures where it’s often called a papoose.) After a year, the board is removed and the bump remains.

            Dolphins also have the custom to sharpen their permanent teeth into cones to distinguish themselves from Porpoises whose teeth are spade-shaped. Most dolphins considered both improvements as a sign of sophistication. Those cetaceans who didn’t follow this practice were considered backward and not “with it.”

            D’aneter thought those practices were barbaric and campaigned to outlaw both of them. He made such a pest of himself that the dolphins voted to take away the initial letter of his name as the D – D for dolphin was only bestowed on those of their species who were in good standing.

            But ’aneter continued his crusade, becoming even more of a pest. The dolphins came together in a pod to see if they could come up with a solution.

            D’olly spoke up first. She was an old paramour of D’aneter. “I think we’ve been too hard on him. And what kind of name is ’aneter. No one can pronounce it.”

            D’ovid who was a rival of D’aneter for D’olly’s affection agreed. “Yes. It’s too cruel.” Forgetting that porpoises always have a P in front of their names, he continued, “I think we should put a P for pest in front. Let’s call him P’eter.” (D’ovid later went on to write some rather hot love poems, Amores, etc. but that’s another story.) The pod agreed and D’ovid, tasting blood, suggested that they shrink his mouth a tad since he was always going on and on. “And if he wishes to not file his teeth, fine.” The stress caused P’eter to put on weight.

            Over time, P’eter’s descendants maintained their distinct look – smaller mouths, spade-shaped teeth, and plumber bodies. A treaty was signed but even now there are a few porpoises who wish to revive the old crusade.

            Of course, this didn’t endear them with the dolphins. Dolphin children who misbehaved, there are always a few, were required to repeat a hundred times fast the following sentence since writing it with chalk on a blackboard doesn’t work underwater.                

P’eter the pesty, portly porpoise with a papoose and perverse purpose must pick a peck of pickles.

Which only makes sense if you know that dolphins call sea cucumbers (which is an animal and a nutritious treat) a pickle since it’s in salty water with lots of minerals.

Proving some tongue twisters are even older than the hills since cetaceans were here long before homo sapiens!

Ken Kapp - Was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, an IBMer, and yoga teacher. He lives with his wife in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, writing late at night in his man-cave. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He was a homebrewer for more than 50 years and runs whitewater rivers on the foam that's left. His essays appear online in havokjournal (.)com and articles in shepherdexpress (.)com.

Please visit www(.)kmkbooks(.)com.

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