Moby Dick

One of the most widely-read and respected books in all American literature, Moby Dick is the saga of Captain Ahab and his unrelenting pursuit of Moby Dick, the great white whale who maimed him during their last encounter. A novel blending high-seas romantic adventure, symbolic allegory, and the conflicting ideals of heroic determination and undying hatred, Moby Dick is also revered for its historical accounts of the whaling industry of the 1800s.

Captain Ahab used to head up a world-class whale watching ship.    For a respectable fee, he would take ladies and gentlemen out to the open sea to gaze upon the giant beasts.

Times got tough, and his city was hit with a recession.  Ladies and gentlemen could no longer afford to go on leisurely whale watching trips.  Ahab was broke.

One night while drowning his sorrows in the local tavern, a stranger approached him and offered a solution.  He could become a whaler.  Ahab already knew the spots that the whales frequented, and with a few moderations to his ship, he could be hauling in the whales, making a small fortune from each one.

Ahab agrees, and decided to make his first kill the most memorable.  There is one blue whale that he’s seen several times.  It’s the largest beast that he’s ever seen.  Over the years it had become familiar with his ship, and would allow him to get very close.  It was over three times the length of the ship, and would buy him a nice home, and possible another ship to aid his new business venture.

Off he sailed.

The whale didn’t appear.

For three weeks Ahab’s ship prowled the waters before lack of rations forced them landward.

As they crept toward the harbor, a huge shoot of water rocketed skyward half a league behind.  It was the whale, emptying his blowhole.  Ahab cursed the retreating shape, but new better than to attempt to give chase.

This encounter was repeated several times over the ensuing months.  Ahab began to wonder if the whale knew that he wanted it dead and was taunting him.

He began to loath the whale.  He was out of money, and almost out of supplies when he set sail for the final time with the smallest crew needed to move the ship.  And there it was: just ahead of the bow.  Ahab shouted to the other men, and harpoons were fired at the creature.  A few hit, and the water around the massive shape turned purple as it gathered speed.  Ahab was puzzled.  What on earth was this creature doing?  It was still headed straight for him. Then,

CRACK

The whale had rammed the ship, and Ahab found himself treading water amid the wooden wreckage.  The whale had dived down, raising its tail for a final Smack! before disappearing.

Ahab managed to find an intact lifeboat, and clamber aboard.  He couldn’t see any of his crew.  They had never learned to swim, preferring a quick death if something like this occurred.  It took him three days to return to shore.  A hunting party later found him, half starved and completely crazy wandering through the forest near their village, raving about a killer whale.

They returned with him to their village, gave him a small cottage, and allowed him to live out his days raving about the demon that had robbed him of everything he owned.

One response to “Moby Dick

  1. Pingback: A Whale of a Tale | Egypt·

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