Letter from a Character in Island of the Blue Dolphins

Letter from a Character in Island of the Blue Dolphins

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This is Won-a-pa-lei, or Karana. As you may know I was left stranded on an island with my late brother Ramo, or Chief Tanyositlopai, while my sister Ulape and the rest of our tribe left to unknown land. I wish to not point fingers, but Ramo was at fault for their departure without us. He was a stubborn child who went to collect his spear quickly before they could have left. I had to go after him because what’s an older sister to do? With my parent’s death and Ulape’s obsessive crush with Nanko, she sure was not going after him. I am glad I went after him. If I wouldn’t have gone after him I would’ve never met Rontu or Won-a-nee and her children. I also would’ve never met Tutok, who gifted me beautiful beads which I cherish deeply and became my dear friend even though she was part of my sworn enemies group, the Aleuts. I honestly wish that I had not gone on the boat with the strangers. They took me to an unknown place and informed me that everybody on the previous ship had passed away. It was a horrible truth that I certainly did not need to know. They also made me remove my beautiful skirt so that I could wear one of their hideous and scratchy dresses. I endured many hardships while living unaccompanied in the island. I had to construct various forms of weapons to protect and defend myself against the wild dogs living on the island with me. I had to create and repair my own canoes from pliant wood. The biggest nuisance, to me, were the wild dogs that kept besetting me and Rontu. They murdered my brother in cold blood and nearly killed Rontu. I am still astounded that my tribe used to run and hide from those creatures that I have already killed some of them and captured two of them. It was difficult but proved my intelligence, wisdom, and strength. I had to execute many plans, such as capturing Rontu-Aru, Rontu’s son, creating my own home, and devising strategies to capture sustenance for Rontu and me. I had not been previously aware of how strange my life must have been before writing this to you. Maybe I had not been fully aware of how serendipitous and peaceful it was, Don’t get me wrong, it was full of hardships and death but overall, it was a wonderful experience to have memorized.

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I can imagine telling the stories of my adventures to my children and their children and so on. I often rethink of my decisions and how it affected me and the island. What if I had chosen this instead of this? What if I had done this differently? These questions often occur to me as I am going about my day. I definitely don’t think my decisions had a negative effect on the island, but who really knows? I don’t and none of my animal friends could tell me any different. I did make mistakes and I know I did, but I am only human and my choices may not have had such an impact on the immense island I inhabited. I often wonder how my experience would have differed if Ramo had survived the wolf attack. What has given me screaming nightmares was the effusion of water spurting and spouting out of nowhere. It still shocks me that so much water could have drifted out of the ocean and recollected back to there after washing away so many objects. I do not regret doing what I did on my precious island. I think that if I did regret anything I wouldn’t be where I am today and that would be horrible disaster. I have made great friends and met wonderful people and animals. I have still honored my vow to not hurt or murder another animal by not telling them a thing of how I lived and who I knew. I have also learned their strangely beautiful language without their knowledge. If you could hear the amount of trash-talk these people do behind the others back. It is astonishing that someone could be so crude. I hadn’t realized until now how much I long for the enigmatic Island of the Blue Dolphins until now.
Thank you for reading all of my nonsense and reminding me of my beautiful island.
Your dear friend,
Karana

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