Life of Plankton before being swallowed by a Whale

plankton

Plankton is most common in this world. It is a most abundant food and found around the world in the ocean. It is invisible to most eyes, but without it life on Earth as we know it would not exist. While plankton as a whole is very important, even essential, any individual piece of plankton is insignificant and replaceable, just a tiny piece of the great masses of plankton out there.
Is it therefore then of great surprise that plankton wants nothing more than to rise out of the tepidness of its hum-drum, everyday-more-of-the-same life and become part of something greater, something significant, bigger than itself.
So to explore this phenomenon to a deeper degree let us observe the life of Plankton LKP 37328956778. Since names are hardly appropriate let us call it simply “Little Plankton”.
“Here, over here,” Little Plankton heard other plankton around it shout. There was some excitement in their voices, so why not follow along, Little Plankton figured. Soon it heard a fuller, more mature and stronger voice, calling out to all the plankton.
“Fellow plankton,” he called, “the time has come that we need to protect our kind. We have reliable information that our old and great enemy, the “Big Maw” has been sighted. And we all know that his intentions are anything but peaceful. We must band together, we must show a united front.”
Little Plankton’s heart was jumping inside its plankton chest. A call to glory! A call to be more than mere plankton. It began floating, rather than swimming along with other plankton, hundreds of them in the drift towards the voice. For once it didn’t feel as lost as it usually felt as it moved in step with the others.
There was much exciting talk going on among the other plankton in that same drift. “My father fought the Big Maw,” it heard one plankton say to another. “God bless his soul!”
“My mother told me much about the horrors of this Big Maw,” another plankton said. “They hardly escaped that time.”
“There’s nothing greater than to fight the Big Maw,” the next one spoke.
“No greater honor,” others confirmed.
“We’ll be heroes,” one spoke out. “Even if we die.”
“Especially if we die,” another broke into the accolade.
And with these and many other words they encouraged and confirmed to each other what they felt inside their hearts. Little Plankton soon felt welling up inside his heart a feeling of pride and greatness. “I am one of them. I am one of those heroes.” And forgotten was that not too long ago he had felt to be an utterly insignificant clod of plankton.
Soon they arrived at the gathering place, where already thousands of plankton had assembled.
“Plankton, hear me,” the strong voice of Over-Plankton sounded off. “Is there anyone here who doesn’t want to be plankton? Anyone who thinks his place is somewhere else? Let him leave us now, go, you are not worthy to be called plankton. But we will stand as one, together.”
“Together! Together!” echoed the crowd.
“Plankton we are, and plankton is what we will be,” Over-Plankton continued.
“Plankton! Plankton!” the crowd responded.
Little Plankton was fully captivated by the magic of the moment. Something big was happening here. Something great, it was becoming part of something much greater than its own little life could have ever been. It was part of this special moment when history was being written. Well – plankton history.
“Plankton!” it joined the chorus. “Plankton! Plankton!”
Over-Plankton was swimming up and down somewhere in front of them. Though Little Plankton couldn’t see him it could hear his voice.
“Do not fear, little plankton,” –and here Little Plankton felt like he was speaking just to it alone— “for together we are strong. We will withstand Big Maw. And even if some of us, some of you, might give your life in the struggle, it is for the greater good of all, for your families, for the nation, for the cause. For freedom, for peace, for the future of plankton everywhere.”
“Freedom! Peace!” the water reverberated with the shouts of the multitude. “Plankton! Plankton!”
Little Plankton didn’t fear. It thought about its father and mother, its brothers and sisters and friends. It would stand strong. It would fill its place, whatever would happen. It would fill its place until the end.
Over-Plankton continued its speech. “Future generations will remember and honor you. You will eternally be engraved in the annals of plankton history as heroes,” he shouted with excitement.
“Heroes! Heroes!” all the plankton echoed.
Just then the waters stirred and a swift current caught them all up and swept them along.
“Stand together,” they still heard Over-Plankton through the moving waters.
“Plankton! Plankton!” all the plankton replied.
Moments later the big, gaping mouth of a Right Whale came into view as a shadow beyond the water.
“Our hour has come,” Over-Plankton’s voice carried through. “It’s the hour of our destiny, the hour of our sacrifice! Our cause will live!”
“Sacrifice! Sacrifice!” Little Plankton heard shouted all around it.
“Plankton! Plankton!” it shouted with all the others while they were sucked in and disappeared into the Big Maw of the Right Whale and were never seen again.

Maybe they really believed that they did something great. Maybe they honestly hoped their death would help other plankton to live. For the Big Maw it was simply another day of feeding and it mattered little to it, what the plankton felt or didn’t feel.
As far as the annals of history go, their numbers were far too many to be written down and soon no one remembered them anymore. Other plankton were too busy with its own feeding and only hoped to live another day and escape the Big Maw opening once again and swallowing them all.
But then again, they are plankton, the lowest in the food chain and what choice do they really have?
right whalej

Or do we?

graveyard

Footnote:

Plankton are microscopic organisms that float freely with oceanic currents and in other bodies of water. Plankton is made up of tiny plants (calledphytoplankton) and tiny animals (called zooplankton). The word plankton comes from the Greek word “planktos” which means “drifting.”

Photo source: http://www.richannel.org/collections/2012/plankton-chronicles (Header)

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