Adopt a Whale

After a fairly awful week at work, I needed some inspiration.  I am a firm believer that that inspiration comes in many forms, and for me, it came in the form of a Beluga Whale.

A random conversation about sharks led me to recall my childhood desire to make the world a better place—one whale at a time.  You see, I had this amazing first grade teacher named Miss Bradbury.  She taught my seven year old self that everyone regardless of size or age or race or gender could change the world.

We watched a “Nick News” story from the one and only Linda Ellerbee about Humpback whales, and I made it my mission along with my class to raise money to adopt a whale, so that scientists could study them in order to prevent extinction. As a class, we chose to adopt “Salt” whose best friend was named “Pepper.”  Humpback whales are named for their flukes and Salt’s fluke was almost all white.  We received monthly updates from Salt and posted them in our classroom.  We even wrote a letter to the President of the United States about our concerns for the environment.

When I received the official response from the White House—a “signed” letter from Bill Clinton and Al Gore, my seven year old self believed I really changed the world.  I was elated.  We did it!

It is funny how much of an impact Salt the Whale had on me that year, but more than 20 years later, I had completely forgotten about Salt and the joy that comes when you are part of a group that makes a difference (no matter how small).

So, as I recalled this story with my colleagues, one of them googled Salt the Whale, and we learned she is still alive and has had 15 calves.  She was last spotted in 2016.  (The last calf’s name is Siracha in case you were interested.) Suddenly, another one of my colleagues started singing “Baby beluga…” and several others including myself recalled the song from the deepest parts of our memory bank and began singing “in the deep blue sea…”. Laughter erupted and soon our mission was clear—we would adopt a beluga whale today.  Thanks Raffi!

The message spread across the office.  We soon had enough money to adopt a beluga whale and started another fund for a baby polar bear.  Smiles abounded.  Joy spread.  Happiness in its truest childlike form erupted.

This morning on Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, another sign came—a countdown of white animals found in nature, and the Beluga Whale was featured.  Happiness is found in small, unexpected moments of connection, and I found a smile running across my face.

So, adopt a whale.  Give to a stranger.  Share of yourself.  You’ll remember that seven year old inside.

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea

Swim so wild and you swim so free

Heaven above and the sea below

And a little white whale on the go

Baby beluga, baby beluga

Is the water warm

Is your mama home with you, so happy

Way down yonder where the dolphins play

Where you dive and splash all day

Waves roll in and the waves roll out

See the water squirtin’ out of your spout

Baby beluga, oh, baby beluga

Sing your little song

Sing for all your friends, we like to hear you

When it’s dark, you’re home and fed

Curl up, snug in your water bed

Moon is shining and the stars are out

Good night, little whale, good night

Baby beluga, oh, baby beluga

With tomorrow’s sun, another day’s begun

You’ll soon be wakin’

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea

Swim so wild and you swim so free

Heaven above and the sea below

And a little white whale on the go

You’re just a little white whale on the go

Raffi’s Baby Beluga for your viewing pleasure.  You know you want to.

#happiness #adoptawhale #purpose #dontshootbambi


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