Celia wanted to know everything about the ocean. She wanted to swim in the underwater caves. She wanted to see how octopus spin. She could talk all afternoon about the mysteries and the things you’d find in the ocean.
One of Celia’s favorite stories was a dream she had about riding through the ocean on the back of her dolphin. It was a stuffed dolphin made from gray fleece. It had blue, leather lips and black marbles for eyes. Her name was Dolphin, and she was four feet long.
One night, before falling asleep, Celia said: “Dolphin baby, I want to swim on your back to the place where ocean fish have lights on their heads. I want to see Tucana, The Toucan from the Indian Ocean. Can we do that, Dolphin baby?”
And that is exactly what they did in Celia’s dream.
Celia swam the oceans that night on Dolphin’s back. They crested waves and darted through caves. They saw all the southern constellations – Hydrus, the Southern Cross, The Toucan and the others. On the bottom of the ocean, they saw treasure chests with rubies, pearls and sapphires. Celia saw clusters of octopus spinning like pinwheels. She saw a stingray like a bird, five feet across and sailing in the underwater current.
It was a magical dream. At one point, three yellow fishes braided her hair and a fish the color of limes kissed her face.
Celia always believed in that dream. When she woke up, she found emerald sand in her belly button. And she said to Dolphin: “Dolphin baby, let’s keep our secrets secret.” But she never could. Celia told her story a hundred times if she told it once.