The Cricketary Tales of Jeffrey Jawser
Home | Table of Contents | Translator with Jeffrey | PROLOGUE | The Locusts on Migration | Migration: Page Two | Migration: Page Three | Migration: Page Four | The Poet's Introduction | Intro: Page Two | Intro: Page Three | Intro: Page Four | Intro: Page Five | Intro: Page Six | Intro: Page Seven | Intro: Page Eight | Intro: Page Nine | Intro: Page Ten | Intro: Page Eleven | Intro: Page Twelve | Intro: Page Thirteen | The Bison's Tale | Bison: Page Two | Bison: Page Three | Bison: Page Four | The Serpent's Tale | Serpent: Page Two | Serpent: Page Three | Serpent: Page Four | Serpent: Page Five | The Salmon's Tale | Salmon: Page Two | Salmon: Page Three | A Whale of a Tale | Whale: Page Two | Whale: Page Three | Whale: Page Four | Whale: Page Five | Whale: Page Six | Whale: Page Seven | Whale: Page Eight | Whale: Page Nine | The Hummingbird's Tale | Hummingbird: Page Two | Hummingbird: Page Three | Hummingbird: Page Four | Hummingbird: Page Five | Hummingbird: Page Six | The Tern's Tale | Tern: Page Two | Tern: Page Three | Tern: Page Four | Contact the Author
Whale: Page Three

Back in the time when we were well stocked in luxuriant number, lived a lovely whale named Princess Hydra.

Drawing by Norman Weaver

When Hydra was a year old she was betrothed to Prince Hilaryous who was but two. Their fathers had made this match while the calves were oceans apart and unknown to each other. As a matter of course they grew up and, yes, they did finally meet. But in a very surprising manner, as you shall see.

The Princess did not mature sexually until the age of ten. On the day she came of age, Hydra's father, King Swama, was to convey the Princess to Hilaryous, who waited for his bride with bated breath at his father's court. Many whales attended Hilaryous and his father, King Blubberbland. All waited for Princess Hydra, all open-mouthed in curiosity.

Drawing by Paul Galdone

Search throughout the panorama
For a sign of royal Swama,
Who today should cross the water
With his fascinating daughter -
Hydra is her name.

Yes, the whales were singing in a great chorus. Hilaryous sang too, with all his half-ton heart. But his joy was tempered by anxiety: "Today we meet, my baby bride and I. Yet how have ten long years of growth turned the scales on my baby love?"

Hydra was a twelvemonth old
Ten long years ago!
I was twice her age I'm told,
Ten long years ago!
Husband twice as old as wife
Argues ill for married life,
Baleful prophecies were rife,
Ten long years ago!

Then I was a tiny prince
Ten long years ago!
She has gained upon me since
Ten long years ago!

Though she's eleven, it is true
My twelfth year did just ensue,
False and foolish prophets you,
Ten long years ago!

Drawing by Paul Galdone