Thursday, January 03, 2008

One Whale of a Wanderer

The story of Keiko has been told many times.

In this version, lots of kids saw Free Willy (a movie) and realized that amidst the Hollywood style gimmickry there had to be a real whale in there somewhere, a Lassie, a Flipper.

Sure enough, our celebrity lived in captivity and so kids of the world, insistent that adults walk their talk, campaigned to have him moved to a state of the art facility in Newport, Oregon, with an ultimate goal of truly freeing Willy (not his real name).

As it turned out, that last chapter was maybe not so successful, in that a cetacean raised in aquariums since childhood isn't going to adapt all that easily to the cold, cruel world outside. On the other hand, it was maybe worth a try.

I like to think of Keiko is an honorary Wanderer, the protagonist of a long, strange trip under the auspices of many adoring fans, many of whom got to see him up close and personal (me included).

Related reading: #1944 wwwanderers eGroup.