August 03, 2015 11:48:26 PM





Alex the Whale and the Fight to End Whaling: A Tale of Courage, Trust, Implausible Scenarios, Plenty of Whale Puns, and an Aggressive Scottish Blue Whale
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any character bearing a similarity to an actual whale, living or dead, is completely coincidental.
“The sun rose and everything fell,” read Mr. Plankton, “And as everything fell he realized that in his entire life he’d never eaten a mango.”
There was a great scraping of chairs as Mr. Plankton’s Whaleontology class got to their feet as the bell rang.
“Don’t forget to finish the rest of the chapter for homework,” called Mr. Plankton as his students gathered their whale things.
Alex the Whale swam out of the classroom and joined the throngs of other aquatic students of Oakfin High School. As he swam through the hallway towards the exit, he saw his friend Davy Jones. He stopped next to Davy Jones’ locker and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Hey, Davy,” said Alex.
“Oh hey, Alex. What’s up?”
“Do you want to go see a movie this weekend?” asked Alex.
“Yeah, I’d love to.” Replied Davy Jones as he shut his locker and put his backpack onto his fin, “It would have to be on Sunday because I have orca-stra on Saturday.”
“Awesome! I’ll see you then.”
“Cool. See you around.”
Alex swam out of the school and began to swim home.
On his way home, he passed an elderly dolphin with only one eye. As he swam past the dolphin called out in a weak, scratchy voice.
Alex froze...and then continued to float along slowly for several seconds as whales are incapable of stopping on a dime. He turned slowly to look at the old dolphin. He was wearing an eye patch that covered his right eye. A twisting white scar ran down the length of his face. He raised a flipper and pointed it at Alex.
“Come closer, my son,” said the dolphin. Alex wanted to say no to this mysterious sea creature, but he was drawn to the peculiar porpoise.
“Alex…you…are the chosen one…”
“I’m the what?” replied Alex, incredulously.
“The chosen one…you have within you the power to change the future…to ensure the survival of your species…you Alex…are the One.”
“The One?” asked Alex.
“The One,” repeated the dolphin, pointing with his flipper into the distance, “Just like the prophecy foretold.”
“The prophecy?” inquired Alex, turning to see where the dolphin was pointing, “What prophecy?”
Alas, when Alex turned around, the dolphin had vanished leaving Alex alone.
Shaken, Alex headed for his home. He swam up to the front door, and took the key from under the whalecome mat. His mother was waiting for him in the kitchen.
“Hi, honey. How was school?”
Alex set his backpack down on the table. He was still thinking about his encounter with the mysterious dolphin.
“Honey, is everything alright?” asked his mom.
Alex nodded, “Yeah, I’m going to go upstairs to my room for second.”
Alex swam up the stairs and arrived in his bedroom. He sank slowly onto his bed and reached for his copy of A Whale of Two Cities. He tried to push the memory of the dolphin from his brain, but dolphin’s words kept drifting back in.
The Chosen One. The Prophecy. Ensure the survival of your species.
Suddenly, there was a brilliant flash of white light. Alex shielded his eyes from the glare and waited for it to subside. Eventually, the light began to dim. It had been replaced by a low humming noise. Trembling, he lowered his fins to see what was there.
Standing, or rather, floating in front of him was an enormous blue whale. He was wearing a kilt and had war paint on his face. Alex’s mouth was agape at the sheer majesty of the enormous mammal.
“Who are you?” asked Alex in awe.
The whale slowly turned to face him and in a deep, broad Scottish accent, spoke thus.
“I am William Whaleace, the great Whale Freedom Fighter, the one responsible for the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986.”
“But…I…I thought you died?” replied Alex, still staring at the magnificent creature before him.
“That’s right, laddie,” roared William Whaleace fiercely, “But I’ve come back from the other side because once again, the livelihood of whales everywhere is in danger.”
“But…whales aren’t even an endangered species.” Said Alex, skeptically.
William Whaleace began to twitch as he glared at Alex. He opened his mouth wide and roared a terrible whale roar.
“AAAAAAAAARGH! We might not be endangered, but we definitely are in danger. And you are the only one who can prevent the extinction of whale-kind. You, Alex of Oakfin, are the Chosen One.”
“But I can’t…I can’t be the chosen one,” said Alex, “I’m just Alex.”
“The prophecy never lies, Alex,” roared William Whaleace, “You are the only one that can save whale-kind from the sharp harpoons of man.”
“Mr. Whaleace, whales aren’t in any danger.”
William Whaleace roared again, “Did you know that in Japan whales are still hunted for their oil and bones under the grounds that they are doing scientific research. Did you know that the U.N. is going to vote on whether or not to allow Japan to continue their unregulated annual whale hunts?”
Alex was in shock, “Really?”
“Absolutely,” replied William Whaleace, “And you are the only one who can stop it.”
William Whaleace grabbed Alex by the fin.
“If you don’t believe that whales are in danger of becoming extinct then I guess I’ll just have to prove you wrong!”
“Where are we going?” asked Alex, a bit apprehensively.
“We’re traveling back in time, Alex. You need to see the danger of hunting an animal with no regulations.”
The room began to spin very quickly and a bright light filled the space. A tunnel appeared in front of them, and Alex felt himself being pulled inside. There was a loud humming sound as Alex and William Whaleace were pulled into the tunnel.
Seconds later, they stopped spinning and emerged from the tunnel. They were hovering above a wide open plain. Strange looking animals were roaming below. They looked like zebras from their heads to midway down their bodies, but like horses everywhere else.
“Where are we?” asked Alex, looking around at the strange new world.
“We’re in South Africa in 1880,” replied William Whaleace, “Those creatures you see are called quagga.”
Alex watched as the creatures galloped through the savannah.
“Why are you showing me this?” asked Alex.
“In three years the quagga will become extinct,” replied William Whaleace, “They were hunted to death by Dutch settlers for their fur which was of high value in clothing and other commodities much like whale bones and oil.”
Alex gazed on in disbelief at the lack pack of quagga beneath him.
“But there are so many of them!” cried Alex in disbelief.
“They sure don’t look endangered do they,” said William Whaleace, “Just because an animal isn’t endangered doesn’t mean it won’t become endangered. As long as hunting without regulations exists, animals will always be in danger of becoming extinct.”
The savannah began to spin and the tunnel appeared again. They were sucked in and emerged this time in a world of white. They were surrounded by snow.
“We’re in Greenland around 1850,” said William Whaleace looking around.
“Why?” asked Alex.
William Whaleace gestured with a fin as a three foot tall bird went waddling past, followed closely by eight more.
“What are they?” asked Alex, watching the strange little birds with their curved black beaks move hurriedly away.
“The Great Auk. They became extinct in 1852 because they were hunted for their eggs and skins.”
“That’s terrible,” said Alex as the birds slipped into the water.
William Whaleace nodded gravely, “It is indeed. As long as hunting goes unregulated, no animals are safe, no matter how many of them they are. Once humans develop a taste for a particular pelt or delicacy, they will go to any ends to ensure that it stays in supply. In the end, money matters more to them than the survival of our kind. Now do you see why whales are in danger?”
Alex nodded, “I do. I had no idea.”
William Whaleace placed his fin reassuringly on Alex’s shoulder.
“I need to stop this,” cried Alex, “I have to save my species.”
The world began to spin again and the next thing Alex knew he was back in his bedroom with William Whaleace floating next to him.
“What do we do know, Mr. Whaleace?” asked Alex as he swam back and forth, anxiously.
“I’m afraid that isn’t my decision, laddie,” replied William Whaleace solemnly, “You are the chosen one. Only you can save the whales this time.”
Alex nodded, “Okay. We need to get to The Hague before they vote on the Japan whaling issue. We need to have our voice heard!”
William Whaleace smiled at Alex and held out his fin, “Grab on then, laddie. We’re going to Holland!”
The room began to spin again and they were once again sucked into the vortex. This time, they emerged in the Peace Palace in the U.N. International Court of Justice. There was a gasp from the room’s occupants as two fully grown whales appeared before them (an uncommon occurrence anywhere, let alone the U.N. International Court of Justice).
“What are you doing here?” asked Peter Tomka, the President of the International Court of Justice, in disbelief, staring at the two aquatic mammals currently floating inside of the Peace Palace.
Alex was beginning to sweat nervously, causing gallons of water to cascade down over the fifteen judges who began to protest and covered their powdered wigs with folders and moved across the room out of the splash zone. Alex glanced sidelong and William Whaleace, who nodded reassuringly.
“I have something I need to say,” began Alex, trying to keep his voice from shaking and silently hoping that the members of the court were fluent in whale, “I am speaking on behalf of all of whale-kind. For the continued prosperity of whales everywhere, Japan needs to stop their annual whale hunt. Whales are in danger of becoming extinct.”
Before Alex could continue, Koji Tsuruoka, the Japanese Foreign Ministry official representing Japan in the case, got to his feet.
“Mr. President,” began Koji Tsuruoka, “Whales are currently not an endangered species. Besides, can the members of this court really be expected to believe the words of two whales floating in the air?”
Peter Tomka stroked his chin thoughtfully, “Frankly, I find it remarkable that our translators are fluent in whale and can translate it into English so rapidly. I will hear the floating whales’ opinions before we make a ruling in this case.”
“Very well,” replied Koji Tsuruoka. He sat back down and gestured for Alex to continue.
Alex cleared his throat and began to speak again, “Whenever animals are hunted without regulations, they are in danger of becoming extinct. Just look at animals like the quagga and the great auk, why, even the dodo bird. They were all hunted to extinction because humans wanted their pelts or eggs. Whenever humans want something from an animal, the animal is in danger. The demand will increase and that will mean the supply has to increase, and when the supply increase, animals are hunted until they are no longer any of those animals left. Whales are being hunted for their oil and the ivory in their bones under the disguise of scientific experimentation and discovery and it’s putting whales in danger. Even though they aren’t an endangered species, if this annual whale hunt isn’t stopped they could go the same was as the great auk, or the dodo bird, or the quagga, and I will not let that happen.”
There was silence in the room for almost ten seconds. Then everybody in the room got to their feet and began to clap. The applause lasted for a whole minute until everybody finally sat down again. Peter Tomka got to his feet.
“Now, I don’t know who you are, or how on Earth you got here, or how in the hell we were all able to understand what you said, or how you are able to survive out of water for this long, or how two whales are able to fit inside of the Peace Palace, or how you managed to get to Holland, or how you know so much about the quagga, the great auk, and dodo birds, but what you just said is one hundred percent true. This court will rule in favor of the whales. Japan will have to stop its annual whale hunt effective immediately.”
The crowd began to clap again as William Whaleace placed his fin on Alex’s back.
“You did good, laddie,” he said, tears in his giant whale eyes, “Real good. Maybe even the best.”
“Thank you Mr. Whaleace,” said Alex, do you think I could go home now?”
“Of course, Alex,” said William Whaleace as the room began to spin. They were once again pulled into the vortex and arrived back in Alex’s room. Almost as soon as they returned, the door opened and Alex’s mother and father entered, beaming.
“Alex,” said his father, smiling proudly down at his son.
“There’re some very special people here to see you about what you did in Holland today.”
“Your father and I are so proud,” said his mother, as she wiped a tear away with his fin.
At that moment, the first whale swam through the door. It was Prince Charles, the Prince of Whales.
“Hello, Alex,” said the Prince, looking down at Alex through his monocle, “On behalf of all whale kind I want to thank you for what you did. I am also here to bestow upon you the highest honor a whale can receive…” Prince Charles removed a sword from his mouth, “…if you would please kneel.”
Alex made his best effort to kneel, but as he was a whale and had no legs, and therefore no knees upon which to kneel, he ended up floating slightly lower than Prince Charles.
“By the power vested in me by the Crown, I hereby dub thee Sir Alex of Oakfin. Arise Sir Alex.”
Alex swam upwards until he was again level with Prince Charles.
“Thank you, sir,” said Alex, turning to face William McWhaleace, “But I couldn’t have done it without…”
Alex stopped mid-sentence. William Whaleace had disappeared.
“Without…?” promoted Prince Charles.
“Without my wonderful parents,” finished Alex, smiling at his mother and father.
“Well of course they have to take some of the credit,” said Prince Charles, “I’m sure they’re very proud. Now I must be on my way, but there’s another person here to see you. Take care, Sir Alex.”
With that, Prince Charles turned and swam out of the room. Almost immediately after he left, a second person swam in. It was perhaps the most famous whale in the entire ocean.
“Mark Whaleberg!” cried Alex, as his favorite Hollywhale actor swam over and placed his fin around Alex’s shoulder.
“Hey there, buddy,” said Mark Whaleberg, “You did a great job today. You’re the talk of the ocean. How’d you like to go see my new movie premiere this weekend? You can bring a friend if you like.”
“Awesome!” yelled Alex
“Alright, buddy, I’ll see you on Sunday then,” said Mark Whaleberg as he swam out of the room.
“Alright honey,” said Alex’s mom, “We’re going to go make dinner. We’ll call you when it’s ready.”
“We’re very proud of you, son,” said his dad as they swam out of the room, closing the door behind them
Alex sighed and swam over to the window. As he gazed out at the ocean something caught his eye. He looked closer and realized what it was. William Whaleace was swimming across the horizon. As Alex watched, he turned towards the house and smiled. As he swam off into the sunset (which is somehow happening at the bottom of the ocean) Alex could hear him roaring triumphantly as he disappeared from sight.
Suddenly Alex remembered he hadn’t eaten all day. He was starving. He needed some food. Alex started to swim downstairs, but encountered a problem. His parents had closed the door and his whale fins were unable to grip door knobs. He used to have to break down these doors when they got closed, but not today. Today he was the champion of the whale world, today he could do anything. Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob