Turtle and Dolphin - A story from Bali

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This is an edited excerpt of a story that comes to us from Bali and was written by Maggie Dunkle. It's a good story about how kids are making the world a better place in Indonesia. You can get the entire beautifully illustrated children's story book at Reach and Teach.

(Where is Bali?)

Turtle and Dolphin
by Maggie Dunkle (illustrated by Margiyono)

(edited excerpt from the book)

Dolphin is hungry. How long since he had a good meal? Not many fish now, and the water is hard to see through. Ah! There! A fish, and a big one!

Dolphin lunged forward with all his strength and... bang! He hit a stone wall. The fish vanished. The stone wall was not a stone wall, it was the stone-hard shell of Turtle. He was not pleased.

"What do you mean, going after my dinner? I had been chasing that fish for a long time, and now you come along! Go off and find your own fish, you big-belly!"

Dolphin was sorry, for Turtle was a good friend. But his head hurt, and he was still hungry. "I need food. I need fish. I do not know where the fish have gone, do you? It is so long since I had enough to eat -- and I didn't see you, the water is so hard to see through these days."

Turtle stopped being angry. He knew how Dolphin felt, for he was hungry too. "Let us find a quiet place to talk this over, Dolphin. I think we are in big trouble, and I think we need to find a way out."

Turtle and Dolphin swam to a shallow pool beside a sandy beach. Bits of plastic floated on top of the water. The beach was littered with bottles and cans. But there was enough water to make Dolphin comfortable, and air for them both to breathe. They were settling down for a talk, when suddenly there was a loud croaking noise from above and something crashed onto the sand beside them.

It was Seagull.



The three friends sat together on the dirty beach, in the dirty water. They thought of how good it used to be, when everything was clean and there were many fish, and birds, and water plants. They dreamed of how it could be like that again. If People could understand what they were doing.


As they sat there thinking these thoughts, two children came walking along the beach. They were carrying bags. The three friends watched them. Were they going to throw these bags on the beach? Would the bags wash back and forth in the water like so many others?

NO! The children opened their bags. They bent over. They started PICKING UP the rubbish on the sand! They put the rubbish in the bags they were carrying. They waded into the water and scooped up more rubbish and put it into their bags. Soon other children came on the beach. They all had bags. The bags said MAKE BALI CLEAN AGAIN! The children picked up all the rubbish. They put it into the MAKE BALI CLEAN AGAIN bags. They took the bags to a big truck to carry away to the recycling place.


Turtle, Dolphin and Seagull watched the children. They watched the children cleaning the beach. They watched the children cleaning the water. They were happy too.

"Maybe things will change now" said Turtle. "Maybe People will see what must be done."

"Maybe it is the children who will show how it is done" said Seagull as she flew away.


This story is part of the Clean Bali Series of books published in Bali. The story is written in English, Indonesian, and Balinese. It also contains a fun board game and music for a song that goes along with the story. Reach and Teach is proud to make this book available in the United States. Click here to buy the book.



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