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Dolphins: Return to Rimini


I returned to Rimini and “my dolphin” in 1991.  I don’t think I mentioned in the first story that after the dolphin show we stayed and talked with the trainers.  We found out that the big dolphin who I had my mystical experience with was called Speedy.

As soon as we arrived we descended to the underground gallery that surrounded the pool.  Through enormous picture windows we could see the dolphins as they circled and swam around.  From this vantage point the muscular strength and the grace of these mammals is very evident.  I suppose it could be likened to seeing the rippling muscles in a fine thoroughbred horse.

As I stood staring through the glass, out of nowhere a dolphin suddenly swam from the center of the pool straight to the window.  He came head on, stopping abruptly with his bottle-nose up against the thick double glass.  He hung suspended there gazing directly at me.  I knew instinctively that it was Speedy.  We just looked at each other reflectively; he knew me and I knew him. 

As we gazed, lost in time, three of the other dolphins swam by and their comparatively smaller size confirmed to me that indeed, this must be Speedy.  I looked around to find Richard, who was there with me, but he was nowhere to be seen.  I turned back to find an empty window.  Richard returned shortly thereafter and we went upstairs to take our seats.

We sat as near to the trainer’s platform as possible.  It was here that the dolphins came to rest between the various events, and I wanted to see them as closely as I could.  Richard excused himself and came back five minutes later with a program.  He disappeared one more time before the dolphin show started, saying that he needed to find a bathroom.

The lights went down and the trainers appeared.  The connection between them and their dolphins was quite stunning.  The intelligence of these beautiful creatures is amazing and I longed for the chance to communicate with them. 

Then came the moment in the show when the trainers ask for volunteers to come over to work with the dolphins.  Suddenly I am hearing my name being called over the speaker:  would Signora Margo Hay come to the platform please.  How could they possibly know that I was there?  I looked at my husband in disbelief and saw the huge conspiratorial grin spread across his face.  Then I understood his disappearances before the show.

I went over to the platform and with great trepidation asked if I could work with Speedy.  The next ten minutes were like a special bubble in time.  There were four of us and we were shown hand movements and taught small sounds to make, and then it was us and the dolphins.  All I could see was “my dolphin”, and he was working with me. 

Eventually we were allowed to get down on our knees and touch our dolphins.  Once again I disappeared into my own time capsule with Speedy.  It was him and me in our own universe and I could have stayed there forever.  All too soon the trainers broke the spell and I had to return to my seat.  I felt as though my face was glowing like the full moon and as if my heart would burst with joy.

I couldn’t speak when I sat down.  I kissed my husband in gratitude and watched the remainder of the show in a state of bliss.  Before leaving, Richard bought a copy of the video tape of the show for me.  But when I have watched it over the years it cannot compare with the pictorial memories inside my head and the feelings that run like electrical current just below the surface of my skin.

I will be forever grateful to Speedy for the gifts that he gave me.  Who knows if I will ever be able to return to Rimini again and reconnect with that wonderful creature.                

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