6

Seal City High School Final Exams – Part 2

Image result for seals in the sun

Where we are: It’s finals time at Seal City High School. The seal with the highest score will get a scholarship to the local college. Sandy wants to win it, but Jeremy has some secret plan to finish first. Sandy followed him home and discovered that the secret might be some drink that his mother is giving him.

Jeremy: What if Sandy does win? She’s a nice girl, and she needs that scholarship. I might not even go to college.

Mom: That’s not the point. You can win, and you’re going to.

Jeremy: I need to lie down for a little while.

Mom: Sorry, honey. You only have a week until finals. Drink this.

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Jeremy took the container and looked at it.

Mom: Go ahead. You know it goes down better if you do it fast.

Jeremy: What’s in this stuff anyway?

Mom: I don’t know. Something to make your muscles grow. Just drink it and make your father happy.

Sandy swam away. Jeremy didn’t have a new way of exercising; he was drinking something. He was cheating! But he was only doing what his father told him to do. Jeremy didn’t even know what he was drinking. Was that still cheating?

It sounded like Jeremy didn’t know what he was doing. And it seemed like he didn’t want to do it at all. And it was making him sick. What a mess! What should she do?

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Sandy was sure that he was drinking some kind of human protein or hormone. She had read about humans taking them to get bigger muscles. Jeremy wasn’t going to look like that, was he? She didn’t think that humans with huge muscles were all that attractive. What would a seal look like?

If she told the school, Jeremy would get kicked out. If she told Jacki, everyone would know. That would be too embarrassing. Besides, someone would turn him in.

Maybe she should talk to Jeremy. If he knew he was cheating, he’d want to stop. She knew he was competitive, but she was sure he wouldn’t want to win by cheating.

But he didn’t want to cheat, his father did. Besides, how would she explain how she found out? She had been spying on him.

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When she arrived at the pool, Jacki was waiting for her. They practiced for a few hours, but Sandy couldn’t concentrate.

What was that stuff? How sick was it making Jeremy? She knew she couldn’t win if Jeremy cheated. But she couldn’t turn him in either.

Finals were taken over two days. The weather was perfect; cool and sunny. The first day, the students would be tested on speaking, fishing, and swimming.

As expected, Sandy excelled in the speaking. Everyone was doing well, but she stayed on top. Jeremy spoke last. There was something wrong. He was speaking too quickly and couldn’t stay on topic.

Jeremy fished first. It was a timed test. He came back with 25 fish, completely crushing the old record of 18. Sandy had 16. Normally, she would have been happy with the score, but she knew that she was going to be no match for Jeremy.

Sandy started to cry. It was so unfair! She couldn’t fight whatever his father had given Jeremy.

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Sandy had always been a faster swimmer than Jeremy. But he beat here without showing any effort that day. Sandy watched him, dejected.

But when Jeremy got back on land, he started to vomit. He couldn’t seem to stop. Sandy watched in horror. Was that stuff making him so sick?

Jeremy’s mother was crying and yelling at her husband. The emergency medical team took him to the hospital.

The next morning, the students gathered to take the last two tests. Jeremy wasn’t there. Ms. Hopper, one of their teachers spoke to them.

Ms. Hopper: Jeremy won’t be joining us today; he’s extremely sick. He was given something created for humans meant to make him do better on his finals. Apparently, the party responsible didn’t bother to find out if this substance would hurt a seal.

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Sandy: Is Jeremy going to be OK?

Ms. Hopper: Yes. Luckily, they were able to stop the poison.

Sandy: So, he gets to graduate with us?

Ms. Hopper: Yes. Obviously, he won’t be competing for the scholarship. But his previous work qualifies him for graduation. Now let’s finish testing.

Graduation night.

Jeremy’s parents helped him to his seat. He looked like he had lost all his fat. His fur was dull and patchy. The other seals gathered around to see if they could help.

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Sandy: I’m glad you’re going to be OK.

Jeremy: Thanks, Sandy. And congratulations on winning the scholarship. I’m really happy for you.

Sandy: Do you have any plans?

Jeremy: After this happened, I decided I want to be a nurse. The ones at the hospital were so awesome.

Over the speakers: Everyone please be seated so we can begin.

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6

Seal City High School Final Exams

Image result for group of seals

It was only 2 weeks until the end of the school year and Sandy Seal was preparing for final exams. It was here last year of school, and she wanted to finish well. The top student would get a full scholarship to the local college.

That was the only way Sandy could fulfill her dream of being a teacher. There were three younger pups still at home, and her parents didn’t have the extra money. If she went to work, she might never get back to school.

Sandy was a good student, and her only real competition was Jeremy. He was a seal from a very rich family. His father sold fish to the local hotel, and they paid very well. Needless to say, Jeremy was used to getting what he wanted.

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She knew that she could win the speaking competition. Jeremy would win the fishing test. She was a fast swimmer, but he could dive deeper. That only left the obstacle course.

It was a test of skill and speed. There were hoops to swim through and objects to go over, under, and around. It was hard, and no one knew how it would be put together until the day of the race.

Sandy practiced every day with her best friend, Jacki. Jacki wasn’t as fast as Jeremy, but she was very good with the obstacles. Jacki watched Sandy practice with the obstacles, and helped her improve her time getting around them.

As far as anyone could see, Jeremy wasn’t practicing at all. Sandy couldn’t understand it. Was he working at night? Sandy was getting nervous. Why didn’t he have to practice? Finally, she couldn’t stand it anymore.

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Sandy: Hey, Jeremy.

Jeremy: Hey, Sandy. What’s up?

Sandy: Haven’t seen you around the pool much. I thought maybe we could work out together. Not much time before finals.

Jeremy: I’d love to Sandy, but I’m not really working out this year. I have a new trainer and a whole new training regimen.

Sandy: Really? What are you doing?

Jeremy: It’s kind of top-secret. But it’s really working.

Sandy: What’s the big secret?

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Jeremy: It wouldn’t be much of a secret if I told you.

Sandy: I guess not. So, you’re just not doing any practice before finals?

Jeremy: I told you. I’m using my new process.

Sandy: So where did you find this super-secret process?

Jeremy looked around to see if anyone was listening.

Jeremy: I’m not supposed to tell, but my dad found out about it at the hotel.

Sandy: He got it from the humans?

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Jeremy: Shh! He could get in a lot of trouble.

Sandy: Sorry. But be really careful. Humans do some incredibly stupid things at times.

Jeremy: My dad said the people looked OK. They use it in their “spa”.

Sandy: OK. But if you start slapping us on the back and talking about football, we’re no longer friends.

Jeremy (laughing): Deal.

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Sandy left, but she was worried about Jeremy. Things that got wrapped up with humans never seemed to end well for the seals.  That was how her Aunt Emma ended up in Newfoundland rather than Nome.

Aunt Emma was going to visit a friend and a human told her the “best” way to get there. Aunt Emma was lucky to get back home again.

Sandy wasn’t sure what to do. Jeremy was arrogant, and could be a jerk, but she didn’t want him getting hurt.

After school the next day, Sandy told Jacki that she needed to do something before they practiced. She went to the cove where Jeremy and his family lived. Sandy watched him greet his mother.

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Jeremy: Hi, Mom! How was your day?

Mom: Great, Sweetie! How about you?

Jeremy: Okay. My stomach feels weird, and my head hurts.

Mom: I hope you’re not getting sick.

Jeremy: I don’t think so. I think it’s that stuff Dad got for me to drink. I don’t like it.

Mom: But look how much faster you are since you started using it.

Jeremy: But I was fast before.

Mom: You know that your father can’t stand the idea of you getting beaten by a girl.

Next week: What is he drinking? Is Jeremy getting sick from whatever he’s been drinking?

Image result for groups of seals

 

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

7

Somewhere Under the Sea

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The Pacific Ocean Survivors’ Society is holding its quarterly meeting. The members have each lost a family member or close friend to human interaction other than subsistence fishing.

Moderator: What are the Society’s rules?

Octopus: No killing.

Shark: No maiming.

Blue Fin Tuna: Only target the guilty.

Sea Turtle: Brains, not brawn.

Group: No acting like humans!!

Moderator: Excellent! At our last meeting, we decided to find creative ways to get back at the humans without resorting to violence. Did you have any luck?

Dolphin: We took your advice and tried to work in groups. Remember how I was telling you about my cousin who was netted by a fishing boat going for “legal” catch? Mr. Sawtooth Shark came up with a plan. It was wicked awesome!

Shark: It really wasn’t a big deal. We found the same boat and waited for them to begin to raise their net. A few friends and I surrounded the net and sawed through it.

Tuna: Not only did they save the dolphins, they saved all the tuna! It was epic!

The dolphin, shark, and tuna stand up and slap fins. The rest of the group applauds.

Shark: The best part for me was that Mr. Dolphin rounded up a bunch of his friends and saved my group from becoming Shark Fin Soup.

Dolphin: It seemed the least we could do. When the fishermen got close to the sharks, we came up out of the water. Humans think we’re cute so we put on a show. By the time the humans got bored, the sharks were miles away.

More applause.

Moderator: That’s outstanding! Anyone else?

Pufferfish: Mr. Electric Eel and some of the jellyfish helped me. There was a boat fishing for some of my friends. Mr. Eel had climbed up one of the ropes and into the leg of the fisherman. He gave him a little shock.

Eel: It was pretty funny. I couldn’t do any damage, but you would have thought I’d cut off his leg. He let go of his part of the winch and the net started to fall into the water. A couple of the humans reached over the side of the boat. They didn’t know the jellyfish were waiting for them. You should have heard them howl and swear. They started the engine and left, net trailing behind.

Jellyfish: We only stung each human one time. No danger. But how could we resist? Humans are so stupid. Eating a fish just to prove it won’t kill you?

Moderator: Outstanding! You have all definitely got the right idea. We have time for one more story. Anyone?

Barracuda: Mr. Octopus and I teamed up against one of those humans in the funny suits who tries to pretend they’re one of us under the water.

Everyone snickers.

Barracuda: One of them got near me with a spear gun. Octopus tapped him on the shoulder. The human totally freaked. Stared looking around. Octopus managed to stay behind him. I tried not to laugh.

Octopus: Finally, I got tired and swam in front of him. He looked terrified. I squirted a little ink on him. When it cleared, he started to come toward me. I stopped. He stopped. Mr. Barracuda tapped him on the shoulder and hid in some grass by the time the human turned.

Barracuda: The human didn’t know whether to watch for Octopus or me.

Octopus: I came up and put a tentacle around his shoulder to explain that we could be friends if he put the gun down. Before I could say a word, he was almost up to the surface.

Cheering and laughing all around.

Moderator: I’m so proud of all of you! This has been a great meeting, and I think we have all learned a lot.

All nod.

Moderator: Before we break for snacks and conversation, I want to remind everyone that our next meeting will be [TOP SECRET]. In the meantime, anyone who can lend a fin, claw, tentacle, whatever at the Great Barrier Reef is encouraged to do so. The corals and their neighbors really need our help. Thank you all for coming.

Everyone moves toward the food, laughing and talking.