Whale Harpooning
Taught by Professor E. Manuel

Here is the great fish, already deceased, alongside the Russian whaling vessel of which I am a passenger, and which will remain for the time being, unnamed. Hello Boys and Girls, and Greetings from the North Sea!
I, Professor E. Manuel, have managed against incredible odds to make this worthy write-up available to yourself and all the peoples of the world. Oh, but what a tale do I have to tell...

Ah... She was a fine fish. We followed her for many a day, she swimming fast and we just keeping up. But she grew weary of the hunt. After the fourth day, her muscles cried out for rest; but her instinct told her to forge on. It wasn't until the evening of the fifth day that she finally put an end to her flight; her swimming slowed, her breathing was rapid and shallow. The sea was calm that night. As I was the highest-ranking individual aboard the ship, it was my duty to man the harpoon. It was a most beautiful device; overtly masculine with its protruding instrument of impalement. The last vestiges of sunlight reflected blindingly off its razor-sharp arrowhead. Ah, thy trusty merchant of death, the ubitquitous and ever-loyal harpoon. Never shall I love a woman as much as I love thee. If it was any other beast, I would have slain it mercilessly. However, this was no ordinary fish. It had an air of dignity about it; not an unfeeling beast, but a creature of pure emotion. I slowly raised the barrel and took aim, my hands quivered slightly, blood-stained from the morning's daily ration of raw cod. Ever so slowly the crosshairs moved up the side of the great fish, and came to rest on her vast abdomen. The first shot is not meant to be fatal. With an air-shattering explosion, the harpoon was freed from its shipboard confines, and for a breif moment was a creature of the air. The flesh of the fish parted obligingly for the incoming spear, and within moments her sweet crimson blood was freed from its previous confinement.

The end came not as one would expect for a creature of the sea -- by drowning. The magnificent animal, previously so inanimate and docile, began to thrash and gyrate so wildly that it became entangled in the mooring line attached to the harpoon. Through its convulsions, it became trapped upside down, with its blow-hole completely submerged. It was a mercyfully quick end for such a worthy prey.

To quote Shakespeare, 'Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand?  No, this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red' Immediately after she was dragged out of her watery home and into the cavernous belly of the ship, the process of slaughtering began. What none of us expected was that this creature would have the entire carcass of a dead journalist in its stomach. This particular species of fish is only known to eat plankton and the occasional school of krill, so the prescence of a human corpse was utterly unexplainable. I cannot speak for the rest of the crew, but I find solace in the belief that there was a higher cause for the sacrifice of this fish; for along with the deceased there was, in a watertight breifcase, a completely untouched laptop computer and a cell phone. For you see, without these unexpected gifts from the fish, I would not have been able to relate this story to you.

E. Manuel.

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