Thursday, 1 December 2016

The Tale of The Christmas Whale

Do you know the tale of the Christmas Whale? A tale told in coastal communities the world over and in the Court of the King of the Whales? Well, sit back and relax, for here it is...

A long, long time ago, a whale was basking under the moon and stars and singing a song of love of the oceans he had swam through when he saw a movement in the heavens. A star was moving. How odd, he thought. He was used to the heavens moving just as he moved and he saw different stars in the sky as he travelled round the oceans, but he'd never seen a star move as he watched it. So he decided to follow it.

And he gradually heard a choir of voices singing praises in a far off land and that intrigued the whale, so he swam faster. The choir grew louder and clearer and he could hear them singing of a new-born king and joy filled his heart and he sang along with the choir as he drew closer to the amazing sound. But then he could swim no more since he was close to a beach and he could see no way of swimming closer. So he raised his voice to welcome the new-born king on behalf of the creatures of the ocean.

The angel Gabriel with his many-coloured wings heard the whale and smiled and looked over to the infant king who reached out his hand towards the joyful singing of the whale. Gabriel picked up the babe and, in a thought, flew to the beach where the whale was singing and laid the baby in the sand to enjoy the whale's song. And the babe reached out again and was miraculously lying on the back of the whale to feel his song reverberating through his body. At the babe's touch the whale felt peace and understanding, joy and love, and wanted to share these marvellous feelings with the ocean peoples.

The whale looked at Gabriel and the angel nodded and the whale turned and swam out into the ocean with the infant king giggling and gurgling on his great back, careful to keep the king dry and safe. And he passed chattering dolphins and octopuses and squids, great fish and small, and seals and sealions roaring and shared his joy and honour at carrying the new-born king and the creatures of the ocean shared his joy and joined in his song that night. Eventually he reached the Court of the King of the Whales who surfaced to witness this unseen event of a baby king riding a great whale and, as he witnessed the babe, he bowed his great head. The babe giggled and gurgled and reached out his hand to bless the King of the Whales as starlight skittered and flashed about the sky.

His duty to the King of the Whales done, the whale turned and sped off toward land and the angel with the colourful wings so the babe could be returned to his mother and in a trice, there they were. Gabriel reached out his arm and retrieved his lord and smiled and bowed to the whale who glowed with the joy of having been of service to the new king, and the angel flew back inland with the infant king.

Now, the whale was so full of joy he decided he must tell everyone about this new baby king who would change the world and so he swam off into the deep ocean telling all the creatures he met about the new king. His song sung loudly and repeated wherever he went. His joy demonstrated the truth of his song and the creatures of the seas and oceans loved the whale for his joy and his tale of carrying the new-born king.

The years passed and the whale began to hear rumours that the young king had been killed but had risen and brought the world a new covenant of life and love. The whale was sad and mourned the babe he'd carried all those years ago but looked to the stars and read their joy that the king had joined them and he was happy again because the baby king still lived. He knew it was his duty and honour to correct the rumours and tell the creatures of the ocean about the new king. So off he swam, his song strengthened with his new-found joy and truth.

The whale swam the deep oceans around the world spreading the word about the king and bringing joy and gladness to the hearts of the creatures of the oceans. The King in the Court changed and changed again and the whale grew old, but still he swam as his skin paled and his tail beat slower. Despite his great age his voice remained as strong as ever and he was welcomed by all the communities of the ocean as he sang his songs of peace and joy.

One night he surfaced to float on the ocean and gaze up at the stars that twinkled down at him and seemed to giggle like a babe. As he looked on a man appeared and smiled down at him and in that man the whale saw the babe he'd carried, oh so long ago. And he raised his voice and sang aloud his joy at once again seeing the king and he woke communities of sea birds and dolphins. The whale swam faster and faster in his attempt to join the king and the dolphins tell tales of the whale who flew into the sky that night to carry the king on his journeys amongst the stars while singing songs of joy and love.

The King of the Whales woke from his deep slumber and knew that the whale had gone. He sent out emissaries to find the whale but they returned only with news that he'd swum into the night sky to serve his king. But every year on the night that the whale first carried the infant king, the whales hear a song from the stars that tells of the whale's great honour and how the whale remains true today, carrying his king around the heavens and singing his song.

And that, dear reader, is the tale of the Christmas Whale. It is also one reason why we should stop hunting whales and let them continue in their majestic ways since, one day, another whale might emerge with a song of peace and joy and we wouldn't want to miss that, now, would we?

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