The giant fin whale swam along with the tide
A nineteen-foot calf was swimming by her side
They were swimming away from her mate’s now dead shell
Trapped in a lagoon and then all shot to hell.
She’ll raise her young calf on her own from now on
Not mating again as they only take one
Her mate had followed a herring shoal in with the tide
And for a short while there were those who had tried
To help him turn and head back to sea
But the cruelty of nature would not let it be
At eighty feet long and a shallow cliff lea
It could not turn around to escape and be free.
And then a vile streak in the locals took hold
A most wicked shooting match began to unfold
The most handsome of whales was trapped and revealed
As shooters took aim and young children squealed.
They fired and they fired and they fired and they fired
Stopping only to reload and then when they got tired
They even drove speedboats across his shot back
Leaving deep deep prop cuts as a further attack.
And when they were done and the whale was no more
His body burst open and in death he’d now score
For the stench of his now rancid corpse was so rotten
This beautiful creature wasn’t easily forgotten.
There was a man who tried hard to get him free
But one man alone is as a wood with one tree
And by the time he had got national press all aware
The whale was now dead, so bored, they’d not now care.
©Joe Wilson – A Whale shouldn’t die like that 2014
Many years ago I was enthralled by the work of Farley Mowat the renowned Canadian environmentalist who died last month. From reading his book, based on real events ‘A Whale for the Killing’ published in 1972, I took to studying whales as a hobby and I quickly realised just what a perfect creature the Fin Whale is. It is the only whale that is match coloured along both sides giving it the same symmetrical beauty as a dolphin and is the second largest creature to live, the Blue Whale being the only creature bigger. It is so amazing it can lift its entire body out of the water. Why on earth would you fire thousands of rounds of ammunition into a creature so beautiful? Why?
This is a small tribute to the memory of Farley Mowat (May 12, 1921 – May 6, 2014) and to people like him who try so hard, such as the Sea Shepherds who try to stop the massacre of bottle-nose dolphins each year in Taiji, Japan ostensibly for food, even though most Japanese people shun the whale-meat.