Snuggled deep inside his lodge, Nalcor, the little muskrat struggled to awake from a vivid dream. It was one of those dreams he had begun having when he started using the internet. Before that his dreams had been about normal muskrat things, like building a lodge in a safe place, finding enough to eat and avoiding the traps the humans put out to catch muskrats for their fur.
Once his mistress, more correctly his ex-mistress, since he’d left her, had taken him to live with her in the premier’s house in St. John’s, and he started using the internet, his dreams began to change. Now they were filled with human ideas, those ideas that humans believed were more important than those that filled the dreams of other living creatures.
They were vivid, these new dreams, but Nalcor had trouble understanding the stories in them.
Once upon a time, before the internet, his dreams were peopled not by people, the name humans called themselves. Back then the creatures that inhabited his dreams were more familiar things, like birds, fish, and muskrats, the creatures that had helped the spirit Messou re-populate the world after the second great flood. According to what Nalcor now understood, muskrats lived in that world peacefully for a very long time before people were even thought of, and long before people appeared in the world of the muskrats and started to turn everything upside down.
Now the people were determined to go ahead and destroy Nalcor’s own home by building a big dam on the river named after the British prime minister who smoked a big cigar. The dam was to be erected at the falls the people had named after Nalcor’s species,“Muskrat Falls”.
According to what his ex-mistress MizKat Dunderdale, premier of Canada’s rich and poor province had admitted to Nalcor without knowing he had learned enough English to understand her, she had serious doubts about the profitability of this project. She was afraid to admit it was a mistake though, because so much money had already been spent preparing for it.
If only she had been able to see farther ahead, thought Nalcor, she would have seen the danger lurking in her path.
Looking for danger ahead, like the people in the dream I had last night, thought the little muskrat. Now I know why it was so vivid. In the dream there had been a ship, the kind the people make out of steel, but this ship could swim underwater as well as on the surface. They called it a submarine. The submarine was used to sink other ships in what the people called a war. Even when the submarine was submerged, it had a device that could see in every direction to determine any danger above the surface of the water. The device was called a periscope. MizKat could certainly use one of those now.
Nalcor realized where the dream had come from. He’d read about it on the internet. The people seemed to think a submarine had swum up the river named after the p. m. who smoked the big cigar. This was many years ago. The sub came from a place called Germany. It had crossed the north Atlantic, had entered the river and proceeded upstream until it reached what is now known as Muskrat Falls and could go no further.
At that time England was run by the p.m. with the big cigar, who was the sworn enemy of the noisy little man with the tiny moustache who ruled Germany. War between them had been inevitable, according to what the people believed at the time and now it was raging around the world.
War, Nalcor learned from the internet, involved each side killing as many people on the opposing side as they could until one or other of the sides begged for it to stop. The amazing thing to Nalcor was that the people did not eat the enemies they had killed. Why not? Other than food, what other reason could they have to kill? No animal he knew except the people who called themselves human, killed for no reason.
Another thing Nalcor had learned from the internet was that despite having lost two wars in the space of 20 years, Germans were regarded by other people as experts in planning, design and implementation. If the noisy little man with the tiny moustache thought it was worthwhile to send a submarine across the ocean and up the big cigar river, there must have been a very good reason. That reason must have been the submarine’s destination, Muskrat Falls. The Germans, being the wizards of advance planning that the rest of the world knew them to be, must have realized 60 years ago, long before Nalcor, the corporation, that untold hydro resources lay hidden in this waterfall on the big cigar river named after Nalcor’s furry ancestors.
Maybe the story of this long lost submarine was coming out now by more than pure coincidence. Perhaps MizKat’s periscope was very well focused after all.
Nalcor could imagine the upcoming press release.
“From the office of the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada’s rich and poor province:
“Documents recently recovered from the wreck of a German submarine at Muskrat Falls reveal that one of the principal reasons for the outbreak of World War II was the obses-
Maybe the story of this long lost submarine was coming out now by more than pure
coincidence. Perhaps MizKat’s periscope was very
well focused after all.
sion of Germany’s High Command that they must take control of the enormous hydro resource available ay Muskrat Falls in Labrador.
“The premier’s office is delighted to announce yet more proof of the undeniable viability of this project which, going forward, will guarantee Newfoundland and Labrador’s position as a front-running, leading edge, top-ofthe-line, state-of-the art world class energy superpower.
...to be continued Peter Pickersgill is a writer and cartoonist who resides in Salvage, Bonavista Bay. He
can be reached at:email@example.com