The Niwi

by McKenzie Caldwell

The waters of the arctic are home to a creature that inspires feelings of adoration in all whom were fortunate enough to glimpse it. Reaching almost thirty-five feet in length, the gentle creature known as the Niwi glides gracefully through the icy currents. Insulating it from these frigid waters are thick, peppery feathers and copious amounts of blubber. Their diet consists mainly of fish, which they casually skewer with beaks that are fifteen feet of glistening ivory. In order to actually consume these fish, Niwis carefully slide the fish down this beak, serenely ripping them apart and swallowing the chunks whole.

When Niwis are around eighteen to twenty-five years old, they seek out a mate. Following a scandalous mating ritual that has never been physically observed by a modern human, the two gain one another’s trust and then proceed to burrow into icebergs, using their beaks to chip away the ice. To do so, the Niwis propel their bodies through the water, slamming into the icebergs and flinging ice splinters into the sea. While this takes more than ten minutes, Niwis are persistent. They will work together to create a spacious cavern in the ice—large enough to harbor their blubbery bodies as well as the lardy bodies of the children and grandchildren they expect during holidays. This process creates an intimate bond that lasts the entirety of their lives, which can span as much as one hundred and fifty years. Over those one hundred and fifty years, over one hundred eggs roughly the size of Smart Cars will be laid. The offspring that flop out of these eggs are nurtured by their parents until they find a mate of their own, only to restart the cycle that has been spinning for over ten thousand years.

This tale does not have a happy ending, however. Global warming has taken these generally peaceful creatures from their burrows. Hunters have killed their mates and children for their precious beaks. And so they have turned their beady eyes upon the consumers of the world. Vengeance must be exacted. Beware, humans: the Niwis are coming.