Nal­cor’s night­mares

The Compass - - CLASSIFIED -

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:pickersgill@mac.com

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