During the reign of Augustus (ruled 27 B.C. to 14 A.D.), there was a dolphin who lived in Lake Lucrinus, a lake in Southern Italy that still exists today. The picture is of modern day Lake Lucrinus.
The dolphin took a liking to a young boy who frequented the lakeshore and fed the dolphin bread. The boy called the dolphin Simon (Greek for sub-nose). Simon met the boy at the lakeshore whenever the boy called for him. Eventually Simon even gave the boy rides around the lake on his back. The boy’s school was on the opposite side of the lake, and Simon ferried him back and forth daily.
This went on for a number of years until the boy died from a childhood illness. Everyday Simon continued to swim to the place where he had met the boy until the dolphin eventually passed away.
I love this story for the same reason that I love certain books: the relationship. There are some relationships that are so beautiful I can read about them over and over. I strive to create such a wonderful pairing.
Of course the relationships in novels are rife with conflict and not all of them can be classified as beautiful. But at the core, there is something that pulls two characters together. Whether it is friendship, love, dependence, family or the desire for revenge--there is a hinge that keeps two character joined. One of my favorite aspects of writing is creating that hinge. And then, of course, trying to rip it apart.
E is for Emperor: The most dangerous job in Rome
Matz, D. Daily Life of the Ancient Romans. Greenwood Press, 2002.
And Wikipedia...did I just say that? Don’t worry--I verified everything I found there