Battlepanda: Richard the Whale


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Richard the Whale

(An excerpt from my 5th-grade reading workbook, The Scratch Papers, now out-of-print. Previous excerpts: one, two, three, four, five, six.)

On their trip Professor Scratch and Howling Jack took Wilbur, Lance, and Little Darla back to the year 1850. The Professor parked his time machine on a big beach. "That is the Atlantic Ocean!" he declared.

"Why come here whey we could have gone to Dodge City?" Howling Jack complained.

"I want to talk to some whales," the Professor said. "One or two, anyway. There aren't so many around anymore, you know." He was frowning and scribbling in his black book.

About that time a fat white whale flopped up on the beach and introduced himself. "Hiya, hiya," said the fat white whale. "My name is Richard."

"What a silly name for a whale," said Little Darla.

"It's a good enough name," said Richard, spouting pleasantly. "One little fellow with a beard even came down here and asked me questions all the time."

"That man," Professor Scratch shouted, "is going to write a book about you and make you famous!"

"I doubt that," said Richard. "I got bored with his questions and swallowed him a couple of weeks ago."

"Well, spout him out!" said Howling Jack. "You can't go around swallowing people!" And with that the whole gang took to thumping madly on Richard, causing him to have such an Upset Tummy that the bearded man popped right out of Richard's mouth.

The bearded man was in good spirits and invited them all, even Richard, into town for a nice fish dinner. They went, all except Richard. He was feeling ashamed for swallowing someone who was going to make him famous, and he sulked around on the beach for the rest of the day.