– Original work commissioned by a friend –
I am an otter.
Yes, I’m sure of it –
somehow, some way, here I drift on my back in the sea.
Let’s gather the facts first (and some tools):
Otters are mammals.
Otters are carnivorous.
Otters wrap their young in seaweed while they hunt so the new pup doesn’t float away.
Oh look, a rock. An excellent tool.
Cracking open crabs, clams, sea urchins. Maybe a bird if feeling ambitious.
If you want to anthropomorphize me,you could consider that I may be considering a visit to my cousins for the holidays.
These would be the badgers, honey badgers, minks, polecats, and wolverines of the weasel branch of the family Lutrinae.
To further this humanization of what I already consider my extremely humane species, you might let yourself believe that I know how obsessed humans are with me.
It’s understandable –
We otters are cuddly looking, clutch our young to our bellies so sweetly, and keep tools in a evolution-favored pouch under our arms.
But if you want to know the most important thing about being an otter, listen closely:
Don’t be sad.
Some of the best parts of life are found in the twinkling lights on the outer corners of mystery.
You humans are constantly searching for the hows and the whys of this world.
Maybe look a little closer at the wows. The awe.
If you believe an otter is altruistic, if you think an otter is self-aware, if you could watch a whole movie – read a whole book – about an otter who fights for her family and has an unwavering moral compass,
We otters exist, just as you.
You can say that is it.
Life is here and that’s the end of the story.
But any sensible otter who knows the most important thing about being an otter knows:
this is just the beginning of it all.