What Fungie did next: A new chapter in his life

Fighting Words 2021: A story by Emily Farrell (13), Loreto Abbey Dalkey in Dublin

In this short story by Emily Farrell, Fungie the dolphin leaves his beloved Dingle Bay to help sea creatures in need

In this short story by Emily Farrell, Fungie the dolphin leaves his beloved Dingle Bay to help sea creatures in need


It was a few years ago when Fungie, the Dingle dolphin, first started to hear distress calls from other dolphins. In the beginning, they were very low, almost inaudible, but as time went by, they became louder, longer and much more frequent. Fungie knew something was wrong, so he made the huge decision to leave his beloved home in Dingle Bay to try to help. He swam out, through the waters he knew so well, into the strange seas beyond and outwards, heading towards the dolphin calls.

He swam north to the sorrowful wailings. In the distance he could see a pod of dolphins and he quickly dashed towards them. The dolphins seemed upset and they signalled to Fungie to follow. The pod hurried through the deep, blue, icy cold waters of Greenland.

As they swam into the remote waters, Fungie could see a polar bear with the whitest, fluffiest fur he had ever seen. This majestic creature seemed to be stranded on a piece of floating ice. The polar bear saw them approaching and in his sad eyes Fungie could see he was asking for help. His home was melting away and he was now stranded, starving, and was too exhausted to swim anymore. Fungie had an idea to balance the bear on the small iceberg while they pushed him back to the larger ice mass. It worked! The rescue mission was a success.

As Fungie got closer he started to see the pollution and the reef seemed to be filling up with rubbish

As they bid their goodbyes with a nod of their heads, Fungie heard another strange, sad, melancholy melody. He decided to investigate.

As he swam onwards and closer to the song, the waters became warmer and he could feel the sun on his back. Soon enough the waters grew shallow and Fungie glimpsed a sea full of beautiful colours and sea creatures ahead. The colourful plants were singing and dancing, the coral was swaying in the lapping waves and the sunlight was shining down on the floor of golden sand. It was a coral reef! Fungie thought it was a tropical paradise.

As he approached the reef, a sting ray appeared before him and he seemed to say with the swish of his tail “G’day mate, I was wondering if you could help me?” As he got closer, he started to see the pollution and the reef seemed to be filling up with rubbish and dying. Plastic bottles were swaying in the surf and rubbish littered the surrounding waterbeds. There were fishermen continually hunting and filling their nets with the beautiful tropical fish. The coral reef was being destroyed and lots of sea creatures were suffering as a result.

Fungie was really sad that this was a reality. He knew he couldn’t fix it, so he led the underwater creatures to another cleaner reef across the ridge which was untouched by human pollution. The fish were safe for now. The sting ray said goodbye and thank you with another brief swish of his tail.

In this short story, Fungie the dolphin leaves his beloved Dingle Bay to help sea creatures in need. Photograph: Petra Kosonen/ Getty/iStock
Fungie the dolphin. Photograph: Petra Kosonen/ Getty/iStock

Fungie swam on again, across to the other side of the Pacific Ocean close to the shores of America following a pelican, who seemed to be in need of help. As he dived, he could see a murky, grey mountain. Fungie swivelled around to get a better look and discovered it wasn’t a mountain at all. It was in fact an island. Fungie floated forward in the gentle flow of the current to learn that it was an island not made from land. To his horror, he saw it was made from rubbish! As he edged within touching distance Fungie saw there were sea creatures stuck in this island of rubbish. Birds with can-holders around their necks, turtles caught in fishing wire, sharks with plastic stuck in their teeth, smaller fish wedged in cans and bottles and much more. Fungie meandered through the waste to find a big, green turtle trying to escape the clutches of the rubbish. Fungie quickly helped pull the turtle out and then helped save as many other creatures as he could.

On his sail home to Dingle, Fungie zipped around the coastline of America. He passed ferries and two friendly fishermen on his route. While Fungie was passing Texas, he saw a big oil spill from one of the rigs. He raced speedily to investigate and saw a whale trapped in the oil and it wasn’t moving. Fungie whooshed past to see what was the matter. The whale seemed to be stuck! Fungie had to think fast. He remembered that he had passed two fishermen on the way. He leaped and dived back to the fishermen where he jumped, splashed and squealed to signal them to follow him. Eventually the fishermen understood that something was wrong and together they rescued the whale.

Fungie reflected on his adventures and knew he had started a new chapter in his life. One that had a new purpose and new meaning. Fungie decided to continue this new chapter travelling the world helping animals in danger as a result of climate change. Even though he was sad that he had to leave the people of Dingle, he knew he would never forget their warmth, laughter and all the fun they had together in the harbour. He would always have Dingle in his heart and he hoped that they would support him in his new climate change venture.

“Trí na chéile a thógtar na cáisléain,” he thought as he leaped out of the blue, clear water and splashed below the deep waves as he headed out to sea on his next escapade.

“In our togetherness we can build castles.”

Fighting Words is an Irish charity that helps children and adults to develop their creative writing skills. This is part of their annual publication with The Irish Times