Yuki Nakano lives in Hawaii and she is a professional diver. She encounters dolphins, sea turtles, and other amazing ocean creatures every day. Recently, while swimming, she came across an interesting fish – a friendly porcupine fish of the two-toothed family.
“When I first saw him, I was wondering why he was staying in the same place,” Nakano told The Dodo, “Even though he would normally run away.”
This was the first time the diver encountered the fish off the coast of Oahu. Generally, Yuki keeps her distance from all sea creatures, but this fish decided to make friends on his own and swam closer and closer to her. The girl immediately noticed that the fish was missing its right eye because of an injury.
“I met him for days and he suddenly disappeared,” Nakano said. “I believed and waited to see him again.His eye wounds got a lot better and he started smiling,” Nakano said. “I was happy that he came back and I muttered with my heart, ‘Welcome back! I’ve been waiting for you.”
The problem with the eye did not make the fish uncomfortable except that Yuki noticed that it could not swim straight because of a slight loss of coordination. The next day, Yuki returned to the same spot and there she met her new friend again! It was as if he recognized her – he “smiled” and swam close to her again. Their meetings continued time after time, but one day Yuki swam to the same place and didn’t see her friend.
She became worried that something had happened to him and searched, but she never found him. It wasn’t until three months later that the diver swam by that spot again, and happened to see him! The girl was happy to meet him, and so was the fish – he “smiled” again and swam toward her. Since then, Yuki periodically sees the fish at that spot, and they are sure to greet each other.
“He makes everyone happy,” Nakano said. “I like to think he is now the most famous Hawaiian fish.”