Molly watched and wondered.
Mama always told her it was for the best. They weren’t really captives. It was for protection. They’d hurt themselves or others if they were free.
But still, Molly wondered. Were they happy? Sad? Were they envious? Did they know they weren’t free? Or was mama right and they didn’t even understand those ideas?
One of the little ones followed Molly with its eyes and just for a moment Molly felt a connection. Maybe it did understand. She squirmed a bit at that thought. Maybe mama was right and this was the best thing for them. But still. That look.
Maybe she’d get closer. Try again.
But just then, she heard her mama’s call sing out and she shook off her doubt. Mama would never lie to her.
“Mama must be right. It’s all for the best.”
Already thinking about feeding time, she turned tail and swam away.
Thanks to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.