WISHING WELL

A nine year old girl stands among the crowd and makes a wish.

Her wish is not the same as the other bystanders who recklessly cast a silver coin into the lake and know not what they do or why they do it.

The sole inhabitant of the small lake is a female green turtle , twenty five years of age.

It is the superstitious belief in her country that the casting of a coin into the lake will bring about good fortune and longevity of life.

Only last week the topic came up in a classroom lesson at school about the danger to living creatures from man-made stuff.

The meaning of that lesson has never left the little girl’s mind.

Tears stream down her cheeks and her hysterical screams echo afar.

She can feel the pain and sheer agony of this living creature.  She wonders, why can’t others?

Sri is an intelligent girl, perceptive, resolute and determined.

She is not going to let this time pass.  She cannot.  She must not.

She snatches her mother’s smartphone, takes pictures of the suffering creature and posts the pictures live on social media.

The need to do this is compelling.

There is a need.

There is a need to do something to save the life of this turtle.

Remarkably, within a very short space of time, the pictures have gone viral.

Sri and her family are still a visitor in the late afternoon at the coastal conservation park at which the lake is located and in which the green turtle lives.

Sri has learnt and understands about the damage being done to marine life by plastic waste discarded into the oceans of the world and by the countless coins which are cast into the lake.

Alas, some of those coins can be counted and in this case, exactly nine hundred and fifteen of them weighing an incredible five kilograms or eleven pounds.

That was what was found inside the stomach of the green turtle when veterinary surgeons finally got to operate on her and attempt to save her life.

The coins could have caused a fracture of the turtle’s ventral shell and led to a fatal infection.

Thanks to the prompt and persistent actions of a nine year old, Omsin, as he has been affectionately called (meaning piggy bank by all accounts) may yet get to live out her natural lifespan of eighty years without further degradation by human interference and ignorance.

The world is Wishing Well for Omsin and other living creatures like her.

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