The Life of Little Ling!

The sun rose early on this particular Saturday morning. The mist was slowly rising off the top of the water of the Knysna lagoon. The sky was filled with pink, purple and orange clouds. All the gardens’ flowers were covered with a fresh layer of dew. Everything was still, calm and silent. But then…

‘Aaaah!’ screamed MrSpottail.

‘What’s wrong dear? Is everything alright?’ called out MrsSpottail, still half asleep as she had just only woken up by the shrieking sound of her husband.

‘I’m wet all over. It seems that I’m leaking water,’ said MrSpottail(a little more calmly this time).

MrsSpottail turned over in bed and peered uncertainly at her husband. Indeed,he seemed to be leaking water out of him. Although it was quite hard to tell as they lived in water.

‘Why don’t we take you to the hospital and get them to check you out? And thinking of hospitals and pregnancy, isn’t it the day you are due to have the child?’ wondered MrsSpottail (still half asleep).

So off they went to the hospital in their shell car. When they got there they took MrSpottail in straight away and indeed it was the day he was due to have his baby.

‘Don’t worry MrSpottail! The doctor is on his way. Stay calm now, won’t you?’ the nurse said lovingly.

MrsSpottail was turning greener by the minute so she decided to go and take a walk round the park while her husband suffered this very uncomfortable situation.

As MrsSpottail was breathing in the fresh water oxygenof the happy morning she thought ‘What are we going to call this little squidge of a seahorse?’ to herself.

She pondered on this thought for quite a long time until she came up with the perfect name. Then she looked over at her tail watch.

‘Blimey the baby must have popped out by now, I’d better go and see how they’re doing,’ she said, alarmed.

When MrsSpottail arrived back at the hospital she went straight in to see her husband and…there he was lying holding their little squidge of a seahorse. Both Mr and Mrs Spottail’s faces were beaming in delight as they stared dreamily and lovingly at their new baby.

‘What shall we be calling the baby, Martha?’ Mr Spottail asked his wife.

There was a moment of silence.

‘Ling. We will call our new little son Ling,’ said Mrs Spottail slowly.


Two years later (seahorse years, of course)…

‘Goodbye Fin, have a nice day at work,’ called out Mrs Spottail to her husband.

Mrs Spottail was sitting by the bath washing little Ling with her tail. And indeed (if you were wondering) she does have a spot on her tail. Funnily enough her husband had one and now Ling did too but of course how could you be a Spottail if you didn’t have an actual spot on your tail? It would just be unimaginable.

Ling was catching on quickly how to do things and Mrs Spottail was sure that her son would be a very independent and intelligent young seahorse man one day.  Although, there was something a little peculiar and different about Ling: he really was very small! Now to you and I out here in the human world being small is no different to being tall but with seahorses being small was one of the most terrible things that could happen. Mr and Mrs Spottail didn’t mention the unusual smallness of Ling but inside they were worrying quite a bit. Luckily for him, Ling’s smallness was hidden by his big, glorious, mud-brown eyes, and when Ling looked up into his mother’s and father’s eyes they couldn’t be more proud that he was their little baby.

At the age of about four and a half Mr and Mrs Spottail decided to send Ling to preschool. There Ling was able to socialise with other seahorses and learn what he would otherwise have been unable to. Ling wasn’t particularly good at making friends and rather preferred to sit by himself and observe. But he had made one friend and his name was Precious. Precious and Ling played together every day and enjoyed each-other’s company. But when Ling got the chance to be alone he loved to just sit, observe and think.

Then one day, when Precious was home sick, Ling decided to try something new instead of just sit and think so he went over to the art easels and started painting. This wasn’t any ordinary painting, it was fin painting.

Ling rather liked fin painting and went wild with it and ended up creating a magnificent piece of artwork. He went over and showed his teacher, Miss Potberg.

‘This is a magnificent painting, Ling,’ said Miss Potberg kindly.

‘Thank-you,’ said Ling shyly.

‘You must take it home and show your mum and dad,’said Miss Potberg.

So that afternoon when Ling got home he took his painting out of his bag and proudly showed it to his parents.

‘Well done my boy,’ said Mr Spottail.

‘Good job darling, why don’t we stick it up in your bedroom,’ said Mrs Spottail.

So that night when Ling was lying in his bed he stared out onto the far wall at his painting, he thought to himself that it doesn’t matter how small you are, if you do your best you can achieve anything you want to.

And that is where we end our story (but, just to say, Ling grew up to be an amazing artist and everybody loved his work).

The end.

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