An egret, hidden in the mangroves and pine trees at the side of a tidal canal in St. Petersburg, Florida.
A great blue heron, keeping an eye on me, while I watch dolphin play.

Prose for dolphin who are free in their water world while hidden magic surveils.

Kathy LaFollett


A rasping gasp and splash. The canal waters are alive with two young dolphin playing keep away with a mullet. The dead fish rides the nose of one dolphin committed to the game of keep away. Dolphin tails slap the surface of the incoming tide waters. White dolphin bellies run just under the surface. They are fast. They are happy. They are magnificent young beings. Rasping to grab oxygen at the water’s surface to dive and swim faster. They are working westward with the incoming canal tide.

Winds are gusting today. The air cooler. Fall whispers its possibilities. I’ve walked my bike up to the edge of the canal to watch magic rise. I am blessed with splashes of water. Magic sprays and rasps. They do not care I am a spectator. I feel welcomed.

I consider taking video or photos of them. I think better of it. Why look through a cellphone to see life this personal? What a waste. What an insult. My heart slows. My breath catches at each rasp of a surfacing dolphin playing.

They move off into the deeper end heading into wider waters. Under overhanging mangroves. Out of my sight. There’s a grin on my face. It’ll be there a while.

I look up into the mangroves and dead branches created by the last hurricane. It’s there I notice more magic. Magic that was watching me.

“Well, hello beautiful.” I walk my bike back to the asphalt, spin the pedals to get a good footing to head out again.

The gusting winds won’t wipe the grin off my face for twenty miles.