Once upon a time, there was a young donkey named Percival. Percival was the property of a dim-witted farmer named Leon. As it would happen, one-day Leon decided that he and Percival would go to the farmer’s market and sell some of his crops. As great a powerful rainstorm had flooded his house, and it needed repairs. So, Leon loaded the car, hitched up Percival, and away they went.
To get to the farmer’s market, they decided to follow the road that passed by a large ocean cove. The view was beautiful that morning the air was crisp and salty. Leon decided they would go to the shore and enjoy the beach for a few hours. They unhitched the cart, and Leon let Percival wander the shore.
As it would happen, Percival would notice a great boulder. Leon explained that the boulder had fallen from cliff face that surrounds the cove. Percival accepted the reasoning and left Leon to play in the surf. Try as he might Percival could not shake the boulder from his mind and set out to look it over.
When Percival arrived at the boulder, he heard desperate cries for help. He followed the sound and discovered a dolphin with its tail trapped under part of the boulder. Percival leapt into action and moved the boulder releasing the trapped dolphin. The dolphin was so grateful that she kissed him. Percival the donkey and Benjamina the dolphin fell in love and spent the afternoon together.
After hours of enjoying the surf Leon decided it was time to get going as the farmer’s market was still a few days away. He searched for Percival and discovered the lovers. Leon was shocked and pulled them apart. Benjamina fled into the sea. Leon spoke to Percival and explained that it would never work out that she was a fish, and he was a donkey. Nothing would ever come from loving a cold fish. Percival lowered his head and left with Leon.
Leon and Percival arrived at the farmer's market and discovered the other merchant’s crops had been washed out to sea. Leon made a fortune as his was the only crop people could buy from. Leon and Percival were heralded as heroes. Surely the kingdom would have starved. Leon was made a lord, and Percival would be the most sought-after stud in the land.
Leon and Percival made a new home in the great city near the farmer’s market. Leon would hire people to tend his farm for him as he enjoyed his wealth and fame. Nevertheless, poor Percival could not forget his love Benjamina. He was a sad donkey and there is nothing sadder than a heart-broken ass.
Eventually, Leon would become frustrated with the broken-hearted Percival. “Just go to her. You will see for yourself that there is nothing that can come from your love,” scolded Leon. Percival smiled and ran off to find his Benjamina.
So much time had passed that Percival was unsure if Benjamina was at the cove. He raced out of the great city, passed the Farmer’s Market, and down the old road to the cove. Percival arrived at the shore and rushed to the boulder where he last saw his true love.
He rounded the boulder and discovered not only was Benjamina there, but there were four other little creatures. The teeny creatures played in the surf and circled Benjamina. Percival slowly approached with his head held low. Benjamina saw him and became excited and played in the surf. Even in his sadness Percival would join her and play in the ocean waves with her and the wee creatures.
After a long afternoon of playing in the waves, Percival, Benjamina, and the four tiny creatures would stop to have a picnic together. They ate well, and the little ones would take a nap leaving Benjamina and Percival alone to talk.
Percival examined the little creatures and noticed they did not look like dolphins or any other creature he had seen before. They were bulbous not slim like their mother. They were dark gray not at all like their mother. Lastly, they had large flat heads and baggy skin around their mouth. He asked her about her husband. He wanted to know what kind of fish had she fallen in love with to create such little creatures.
Benjamina would smile and tell him she was not married nor had she any suitors. He was confused and told her of Leon’s words that nothing would come from loving a cold fish. She explained that dolphins were not fish, and that they were, in fact, mammals just like Percival. He was shocked as she revealed that he was the father of these wonderful little creatures. They all embraced one large happy family.
However, just when the family would start their lives together Leon would arrive. Percival and family wanted to know what business Leon had there. Leon told them that he missed Percival and wanted to see him one last time. They decided to have some tea and talk about everything. The surf and the love he witnessed with the little family washed Leon’s hatred away.
“Love may have found a way, but what will you call these little creatures?” Leon would ask. Percival and Benjamina thought long and hard about the question. Then Percival spoke “As you brought us together on your journey and peace has entered our lives over this tea. We will call our children Man and Teas." Leon nodded and smiled. “But as Benjamina and I have grown very old we need someone to watch over our children and ensure they grow strong. Will you be their god father?" Percival asked Leon.
Since that day, the lords of the land have always protected and loved the Manatees in the kingdom of Florida.