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Chapter 4 "Musical sounds"

Meanwhile, the panda began to worry. He wondered “How will I decode the dolphins’ language? I don’t even know what a dolphin is, never mind understanding their language! Well, let’s hope for the best!”

And lost in these thoughts, he nodded off.
He was awakened by a sprinkling of salt water and by high-pitched sounds.
“Hey you! Panda, wake up! I’ve come back!” the turtle said.
The panda opened his eyes, said hello to his friend and asked her “Where are these musical sounds coming from?”
“From him! From the king of dolphins!
He usually utters these acoustic signals similar to a whistle to communicate. Come on! Ask him where you can find Abilian.”
“How can I? I can’t understand anything!” the panda said. “Can you?”
“I have noticed”, the turtle explained, “that, when he is angry, he quickly shakes his tail; on the contrary, when he is happy, he utters sounds that are similar to twittering.
We could interpret these two signals respectively as No and Yes. Let’s try! Come on, ask him some questions.”

“Are you the magnificent lord of the seas and the oceans?” the panda asked kindly.
The dolphin did not answer; he seemed not to understand.
“Are you, My Lord, the knowledgeable expert of Abilian’s secrets?” the panda tried again.
The dolphin, once again, did not give any sort of answer.
“Perhaps you must use a simpler language, mate”, the turtle said. “Your way of speaking sounds a bit difficult to me! Try also miming what you say; surely, it will be easier for him to understand.”
“Yes! You’re right. I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll try again.”
“Are you the king of dolphins?” the panda asked, articulating each word and miming it as well as he could.

Re delfino
The dolphin started whistling.
“Wow! Perhaps this is the right language!” the panda cried happily.
“Do you know where Abilian is?” the panda asked.
The dolphin shook his tail.
“No? You don’t?” the panda said puzzled.
“Didn’t you speak to me about clues?” the turtle asked.
“Oh yeah! You’re right”, the panda said. “I’ll ask him now!”
“Do you know if there is a clue about Abilian?” the panda asked.
The dolphin whistling said yes.
“Great, mate! Perhaps you are on the right way!” the turtle said.
“Do I have to look for it deep beneath the sea?” the panda anxiously asked, miming the waves with his paws.
The dolphin shook his tail strongly.
“So no, I don’t”, the panda thought to himself. “Phew! That’s good, especially considering that I can’t swim. So, where could it be?”

The panda started thinking about it “Maybe in a shell? No! No! It can’t be there. Maybe in the tummy of a fish? Mm! No! No!... Ah! Perhaps I’ve got it… On a rock? Now I’ll ask him.”
“Perhaps the clue is on a rock?”
The dolphin whistled.
“Yea!” the panda cried. “Fantastic!!!”
“Could you take me to the rock?” the panda asked. The dolphin agreed.
“Do I have to follow you?” the panda asked again, miming a walk.
The dolphin replied in his usual way.
“Well, dear panda,” the turtle said, “my task ends here. I must continue on my long journey; so, we have to say goodbye now.”
“Thanks a lot for your help, dear turtle”, the panda said with grateful eyes. “Without you, I would never have found the king of dolphins and learnt how to communicate with him.”
The turtle swam into the sea, and the panda carried on his search for the clue.

Walking on the beach, the panda kept his eyes on the dolphin, who very often jumped out of the water to help him to find his way. Sometimes, the panda would stumble in the sand and have a hard time standing; so, the dolphin would kindly utter his musical sounds, encouraging him to go on.
Moreover, his walk was made more difficult because of some small shells which would get caught between his paws.
“How painful! I wish I could stop for a while to have a bamboo break!” the panda thought to himself.
However, seeing the dolphin continue to swim in the sea without stopping, he plucked up his courage and kept on following him.

Finally, they arrived at a rock which was near the mouth of a river.
“Will I find the next clue here?” the panda asked.
The dolphin said yes and beckoned him to move towards the rock, where he found the clue carved.
“At last!” the panda cried happily.
“Dear dolphin, thanks a lot. You are such a kind animal, so intelligent and friendly. Thanks to you I have learnt how to communicate in a different manner, by using sounds and other gestures. Sometimes, in order to mime what I wanted to tell you, I ran the risk of putting my back out or spraining my paws. However, I finally made it, and it was really fun.”
The time for farewells had arrived. The two friends said goodbye affectionately, and the dolphin, whistling happily, swam out to sea, darting now and then between the waves.
“Well now, let’s move on to the clue”, the panda thought.
He looked at the rock carefully.
“Goodness! It’s much higher than I thought. Now I really must do a bamboo break.”
While he was nibbling a leaf, he thought to himself “From what side should I begin to climb the rock? Not from the south, because the sea is there… Neither from the east, because the river flows there… nor from the west, because the rock does not have footholds there. I can only climb from the north…”
After his break, the panda started to climb the rock, and there he found the clue.
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