Ages fifteen to eighteen may find this story moving, and more mature readers will not be disappointed. It begins with an extraordinary similarity to a famous Nobel Prize novel. An old Creole fisherman has gone eighty days without catching a fish; he broke his hip and is now threatened with the loss of his shack which he shares with his adopted son, about thirteen. The old man and his ""son"" speak in the mock-epic translatese which lent dignity to Hemingway's Santiago and his ""son."" This fish is a bottlenose female dolphin which saves the boy from a shark and the boy rewards the dolphin. Each morning he and the dolphin rendezvous to play together, the boy riding the dolphin, and this friendship develops believably. But soon a pretty (and ripening) highborn girl joins them and there is a round robin of personality clashes between boy, girl and mammal. But who will pay the rent?! That fish could, at the market. Aside from this, the girl has awakened the boy to sex which is handled with lyric frankness. The tragic climax will have a touch of magic pathos for impressionable readers. The dolphin itself, with eyes of human intelligence, behaves just like a woman--shy, teasing, tactile.