Sally tried to ignore the voices whispering behind her as she went to meet the clan elder.
She continued on, eyes lowered, until she came to him. Even in the vast crowd, it was obvious who he was--their leader. With head bowed she approached. “I, I’m sorry grandfather. I failed. I failed to pass on our genes, our name…” Sally wiped away a tear.
“Do not be sorry child. There was no one left for you to mate with. It was too late for us, too late… This is our destiny…” He motioned to their surroundings. “Really, it’s not so bad.” He smiled kindly--and winked.
“But… our lineage?”
“You could hardly have mixed your blood with another?”
“Perhaps our cousins--and those who control their destiny--will learn from this. We do not always understand the ways of the world Sally--not in our former world, and not in this world.”
“True…” She smiled slightly. Everything was so different there, but she wasn’t afraid. For the first time in a very long, she wasn’t afraid.
“Come. It has been a very long time. Your family awaits you…”
The elder led Sally onward. They meandered here and there until they came to a huge open ‘room’. She recognized her parents, siblings, cousins, and many old friends at the front of the crowd. She didn’t know who to go to first. Everyone she’d ever known, and many she didn’t, were all there--every single one of the Monachus-tropicalis clan--hundreds of thousands of them.
And Sally was the last to arrive, the last in a very long line of Monachus-tropicalis’--over two hundred years of generations. Her arrival was cause for quite a celebration--in this world. Her departure was cause for concern in her old world…
Sally’s family and friends approached her with hugs and kisses. She was overwhelmed with happiness--and peace.
When the party was over, Sally returned to her new home. She loved it and she was truly happy to once again be amongst her family--all of them. She’d lived alone for so many years… Still, she wondered what the fate of her cousins would be. Would those in control really learn from the demise or her clan…? Could they be saved…?
She wasn’t surprised when the elder brought her a visitor, a very Special visitor. One look at Him, her Creator, and her worries vanished for good. She knew, she just knew, that everything would be as it should be...
More than fifty years later it became official: the monachus tropicalis, the Caribbean monk seal, was deemed extinct on Earth--extinct due to humans.
Their cousins, the Hawaiian monk seals and the Mediterranean monk seals, are critically endangered. Indeed, what will their fate be… and what about ours?
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