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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 Four

But when Swama cast anchor at Blubberbland's court, lo and behold the whale king had arrived empty-flippered! Where was his daughter Princess Hydra?

The Princess, her father explained, had washed her flippers of the wicked world and turned her back on all whales who are males. Hydra now rules an all-female university where the classics are studied, but marriage - the very thought of it! - is forbidden. A hundred whales have assembled at this school which they call Lagoon Obdurate.

Hilaryous immediately decides to go the limit - to swim to this school and take matters in his own flippers. With two friends, Kriryl and Faunian, he shoves off.

Swimming as fast as they can - twenty-eight miles an hour - the three blue whales cut the water and buffet the waves. Day and night they skim and glide and dive. Day and night they must surface to breath - three hundred times every twenty-four hours.

This is how we breath.

A million and a half calories a day they need to sustain this dash and rapidity. Each time one opens his mouth to eat he takes in fifteen tons of sea water. How many times a day does a blue whale open his mouth to eat? Well, I never counted, my messmates, but take it from me: we eat four tons of krill every day. And the krill is a tiny crustacean no bigger than the beak on our hummingbird here.

Drawing by Rod Ruth

Yes, tiny krill is all we eat, we blue whales, we largest creatures on the planet earth. And krill fattens us with a blubber twelve inches thick.

But back to our three heroes, swimming to Lagoon Obdurate... They were now so close that only one more dark night stood between them and their goal. Hilaryous now appealed to his friends:

Come Kriryl, Faunian, our course is plain: tomorrow morn fair Hydra we'll engage; But we will use no force her love to gain. Nature has armed us for the war we wage!

Expressive glances
Shall be our lances,
And tons of krillery
Our light artillery.
We'll storm their bowers
With scented showers
Of fairest flowers
That we can spy!

Then the three chimed in for a chorus:

Oh dainty triolet!
Oh fragrant violet!
Oh gentle heigho-let!
(Or little sigh)
On sweet urbanity,
Though mere inanity,
To touch their vanity
We will rely!

Kriryl now took up a verse:

When day is fading
With serenading
And such frivolity
We'll prove our quality.
A sweet profusion
Of soft allusion
This bold intrusion
Shall justify.

Again the three friends harmonized for the chorus. C'mon, friends, sing it with me!

Oh dainty triolet!
Oh fragrant violet...

Drawing by Rod Ruth