It turned up Monday morning in the Bay with the tide changing

straight dorsal of a young bull orca rolling slapping

its flukes black and white flashing it put on quite a show

Word got out through the local radio station soon the parking lot filled

as curious town folk rushed down to the water
stretching their necks to a get a good
view

Blowing off vapour the beast’s hissing could be heard along the shore

he snagged the anchor line of a sailboat

pulling it bobbing for hundreds of metres

When the creature breached the crowd roared its approval

a mother pushing a baby carriage interviewed for big city TV was quoted

how cool right here in front of us how wonderful for the children!

A girl in a bikini posed in the shallows

the photographer promised she’d be in the paper

if he could only manage to catch the dorsal in the background

 

When the girl stepped out of the water she told others how

the fish was so close her heart was beating out of her chest

while others stretched on the sand spit for selfies

In the excitement young men in rally caps rushed out in

sea-doos revving circles around the whale soon

the Bay was a tumult of white water wakes it was a three ring circus

Perched on a bench a tourist with binoculars announced to those around

I can see the monster’s great eye a woman in cowboy boots observed it can’t leave the Bay like it’s trapped in a paddock

An elder from the reserve told a story about a lost mask of the totem

this he said (shaking his head) could be the

Creator’s Searcher a very bad omen

The mood of the crowd was changing from jubilant to concerned

at a meeting at the town hall DFO officers had to admit

a transient rogue hanging around in the Bay is unusual

They couldn’t answer if the whale was playful or if he was agitated

was he lost? cast out? was he starving?

could it be the heat of the water? had the water turned toxic?

It didn’t matter by now they all agreed

there was reason for concern

especially about anything called Killer

A rogue orca is unpredictable and dangerous

surely it’s just a matter of time before it turns hostile

tipping boats and drowning people

 

So what do you do with a 4 tonne predator swishing around in your bay?

you can’t net it or lasso it

you can’t entice it or otherwise move it

Some shouted make it go away!

save the town! save the children!

but the DFO officers could only shrug their shoulders

 

By this time two factions had formed

animal rights folks shouting slogans about saving the whales

and those grumbling in corners about using explosives.

Neil Garvie is a retired, prairie ex-pat who now lives on Vancouver Island where he spends his time beachcombing as well as writing about misty mountains and the prairie wind.   Neil’s career was in education as a teacher, elementary school principal and university instructor. He has a Ph.D. in curriculum theory and has written extensively in that area.  Neil has published poems in a number of journals and anthologies. His first book of poetry Silence Craves a Voice (Poplar Publishing) has just been completed.