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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 Nine

"Ah, my dear Princess Hydra," Hilaryous now replied. "Your tale is the pink of perfection. A topnotch tale, a bang-up tale! And yet it must perforce give way to one superior.

"My grandpa was King Nabaar. With two close friends he swam to a sheltered lagoon, there to abjure the company of cows. Nabaar and his companions vowed to study and fast. But oaths did melt like ice; this could not last. For no sooner did three blue whales of the female kind swim past the sandbars and coral reefs (to negotiate about a territorial dispute) than our three cetacean cenobites fell head over flukes in love!

"But all three had sworn to forgo females. And so each one acted secretly. Each would woo his love with a poem.

"Now all three lovesick whales paddled around the lagoon, each writing a sonnet, each rehearsing it, each reading it out loud to himself. And how they did justify their oath breaking!

Vows are but breath, and breath a vapor is:
Then thou, fair sun, which on my sea dost shine,
Inhal'st this vapor vow; in thee it is:
If broken, then it is no fault of mine:
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To lose an oath to win a paradise?

Painting by Larry Foster

"But you know how excellent is our hearing. Each whale was overheard by the other! They pretended to be shocked by the betrayal, but all were caught in the very same net. All three laughed in embarrassment: 'A pretty kettle of fish!'

"'There is more to be learned in a whale's eyes,' declared Nabaar, 'than in all the books of land or sea.'

A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind;
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound...
From whale's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Catacean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academies,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world.

"Now fair Hydra - dear Hydra. As your grandma Lizzy Gaga took a mate, and even my die-hard grandpa King Nabaar became one bone and flesh with a spouse, let us follow in their wake. It's Nature's way. Look how Delicia and Kriryl already nuzzle up. And I see Faunian too off in a cove with one of your initiates. It's Nature's way. What do you say?"

"I say yes if you can but solve this simple riddle: What walks on three legs in the morning, four in the evening... No! What is all fire and all ice and, uh, black and white all over! No... Er, what does... - oh heck! Come kiss me you boob! Here, I'll lilt you into my flippers.!"

With joy abiding,
Together gliding
Through life's variety
In sweet society,
And thus enthroning
The love I'm owning
On this atoning
I will rely!

And then every whale in the sea sang...

It were profanity
For poor whaleanity
To treat as vanity
The sway of love -
In all localities
On all oceans and seas
Love's lovely mysteries
Are way above!

Illustration by Higgins Bond