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 Five

Let me chirp in a word or two!

But wait! The cricket must pause here in the whale's tale and ask his readers to imagine if they can, a leviathan - longer than a pine tree is tall, and broader than a swollen stream... This moving mountain of a beast plods through the woods with twenty-three animals on her back ranging from a bat to a buffalo and all of them warbling...

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

No, it's beyond this cricket's power to describe. I'll let the whale convey what images she may, for the task is beyond me.

Just like a cricket! He interrupts and chirps and chirps and drowns out even three whales singing! The three blues were warbling, friends. It was Faunian's turn to wail a verse:

We'll charm their senses
With verbal fences,
With ballads amatory
And declamatory.
Little heeding
Their pretty pleading
Our love exceeding
We'll justify.

Oh dainty triolet...

You all know the chorus: once more marchmates! Sing with me, come!

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

Drawing by Nick Maland

Meanwhile in the Lagoon the female whales studied the classics: Sappo, Harriet Beachstone, Forge Sand, Ginger Wolf, Treadna Sea Incident M'Lay, Seadeath Wharfton...

But even more than study whales love to sing. The females too would yodel and chant, but their lyrics all had to do with the baseness of the bull whale:

Bull will swear and bull will storm -
Bull is not at all good form
Bull is no kind of use -
Bull's a donkey - Bull's a goose -
Bull is course and Bull is plain -
Bull is more or less insane -
Bull's a ribald - Bull's a rake -
Bull is Nature's sole mistake!

But now the three bulls - Hilaryous, Kriryl and Faunian - had reached Lagoon Obdurate and slipped inside without a sound. They were not at all observed, for the females - all one hundred whales - were clustered around Princess Hydra.

She was furious! Princess Hydra expelled Sackabrine and Floe. Just marooned them forever and would listen to no entreaty, no appeal. Sackabrine had dared to tell the collegians the story of the Minoboar, the Bull of Creet.

Drawing by Warwick Hutton

And Floe was caught reading the story of Turdinhand the Bull.

Drawing by Robert Lawson