I had been nearly six months since that unusually warm day in September, and Sharon's due date was approaching quickly. Many women prefer to give birth in water. Why settle for a bathtub when Sharon had the whole Pacific Ocean? You see, Sharon was a sea otter. This would be Sharon's first pup, which was rather late at six years of age. Sharon made no special preparations for her first child, she had spent her whole life in the ocean and she was comfortable anywhere.

Sharon gave birth early in the morning. A healthy, four and a half pound pup. She spent hours licking him, fluffing his thick fur. When she was done he floated like a cork, bobbing over the gentle swells of the ocean. She wrapped her precious pup in a piece of kelp, and departed to the depths of the sea in search of food. When she returned, Anthony (she had decided she would call him Anthony) was mewing desperately, his meek voice hoarse from the constant calling. Sharon floated on her back, Anthony perched on her breast and began nursing.

Two months later, Anthony had his first taste of solid food. A piece of an oyster Sharon retrieved from the ocean floor. It was a big step for Anthony, and Sharon was very proud. Soon, he would shed his fluffy baby fur and his adult fur would grow in. Then Sharon could begin teaching him how to dive for food. Small, easy things at first, like shiny rocks and colorful sea stars. Soon Anthony would be able to dive for his own food, no longer relying on his mothers milk, they would part ways. All too soon, Sharon thought.

After weeks of practicing, Anthony finally made it to the murky floor of the ocean. The first thing he brought up was an especially shiny shell. He held on to that shell all day, only letting it go when Sharon produced another shell, complete with meaty contents, for supper that night. Sharon's joy at his first successful dive helped very much to relieve the stress of keeping the small otter pup safe from the dangers of the sea. Eagles had been known to swoop down and pluck a baby otter right out of the water, not to mention the danger posed by orcas and sea lions.

It had been seven months since Sharon gave birth to Anthony, and he was now ready to explore the ocean on his own. He and Sharon had a long good-bye. Anthony reluctantly left the comfort of his mother and swam off into the sunset.