Dolphin Humor

I caught movement out of the corner of—well, not my eye, but I sensed sound returns and other sonar pulses coming up from the side. It was a dolphin.

“Hello, great cousin!” he squeaked cheerfully, reminding me of helium. “I heard a new joke! What’s the difference ‘tween a piano and a fish? Give up? You can tuna piano, but you can’t tuna fish!” He squeaked a paroxism of laughter.

“Do you even know what a piano is, little cousin?” I asked.

“Something you can tune!” He laughed and swam away.

He follows cruise ships and fishing trawlers, and hears jokes and other conversation from the land-dwellers aboard them, Willie said gloomily. Someday he’ll go too close at the wrong time, get caught in a net, and drown.

“That would be…tragic,” I said, and meant it.

I still cannot believe this happened, Willie said. You have made my body your own.


Do not be. It is what I deserve. I who lured you with a lie told the truth despite myself. He said nothing else for a long time.

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