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by masses of ice breaking off the icebergs and falling into the sea.
5. On the floating ice around, numerous seals, and sometimes large white bears, can be observed. Every now and then, as the whales come up to breathe or blow, large jets of water are thrown into the air, like the water in a fountain.
6. There is no night in these northern regions during the whaling seasons, or at least it only lasts for an hour or two.
7. The whale is hunted by men in boats which are sent out from the ship. Some whalers take with them six or eight boats. These boats are rowed by four or more sailors. A man called a “harpooner” stands in the bow of each boat, ready to hurl a harpoon with his hand or fire it from a gun at the whale. The harpoon is a short spear to which a very long rope is attached.
8. As soon as a whale comes to the surface to blow, the sailors row rapidly up to it, and the harpooner hurls the weapon into its body. On being wounded, the whale at once lashes the sea with its tail, and makes for the bottom.
9. As it cannot remain very long under the water without coming up to breathe, the sailors in all the other boats are on the alert to look out for it. It has been known to come up just under one of the boats, and to upset it and drown the sailors.
10. When caught, the whale is fastened to the side of the ship; and the fat, or blubber, as it is also called, which in the Greenland whale is often two or three feet thick, is cut off its back. This is melted down into oil in furnaces on the deck of the ship, and is put into casks to be brought home. The whalebone is also taken out of its mouth, and the remains are then dropped into the sea.
11. A whaler will continue this fishing until many hundreds of pounds worth of oil and whalebone have been obtained.
12. One kind of whale, called the White whale, which is found on the north-east coast of America, is of a cream colour, and is only about fifteen feet long. It is caught in numbers at the mouths of some of the arctic rivers.
captured, caught, taken.
numerous, very many. surface, top of the sea. alert, on the watch. fastened, fixed to.
In what does the whale found in the southern seas, differ from the Greenland whale? What has it in the lower jaw? What is the large cavity in the head filled with? What is this oil used for? What are whale ships called? What does the whale do when it comes up to breathe? How is the whale hunted? How many men are in the boats? What is the man that stands in the bow of the boat called? What does he throw? When the whale is dead what is done with it? What becomes of the fat? Where is the White whale found?
1. A bird built her nest in a fair green tree,
In the midst of a beautiful wood; She lined it with feathers, and made it so soft,
As only a mother could.
2. Primroses grew in the long green grass
At the foot of the chosen tree; And the scent of sweet violets filled the air,
Like odours from Araby.
The cowslip sweet, and the wind-flower light,
And the graceful harebell grew.
4. And the dragon-fly, and the painted moth,
And the musical-winged bee, And the grasshopper came with its chirping voice,
To play 'neath the chosen tree.
5. Not long ere three tiny heads were seen
Peeping out from their downy nest, And, oh! what a happy mother was she
That warmed them beneath her breast!
6. She loved them as only a mother loves, And she sang them her songs
of glee; There were no little birds more happy than they,
In their nest in the chosen tree!
7. But one of this little family
Grew tired of his mother's care, He sat all day in sullen mood,
And nought to him looked fair.
8. For the heart of this little bird was changed,
And he thought he should like to roam Away o'er the fields and the high green hills,
In search of a brighter home.
9. Ah me! there is not a brighter home
Than that which is lighted by love; There is no other light so divinely sweet,
Not the moon nor the stars above.