Sunday, January 22, 2017

ZooWeird 53

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Narwhal: Or "the unicorn of the sea," as it is sometimes called, is a medium-sized toothed whale and one of the two surviving representatives of the family Monodontidae. The other member is the beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas). These magnificent creatures are easily distringuished by the long straight tusks that males have. Narwhals occur predominantly in the Atlantic and Russian areas of the Arctic Ocean. They are commonly sighted in the northern part of Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Baffin Bay; off the east coast of Greenland and in a strip running east from the northern end of Greenland round to eastern Russia (170° East). Narwhals can reach depths of 1,500 m (~4921 ft). (All animal info from

The Narwhal was the vessel in
That tale Jack London wrote*—
The one about that dog named Buck.
So on that Narwhal boat

He sailed up to Alaska, where
He set off on the trail
To Dawson (Yukon) for the gold
(Or so, at least, the tale

That hordes had heard, propelling them
Up to the Northern lands 
Where gold was lying all around—
In creeks and in the sands.)

I wonder if the narwhals there
Up in the northern seas
Were curious about these ships
Ignoring snow and freeze.

Perhaps one said, “These dudes are nuts—
To dig in frozen land.
I like it better in the sea—
A world I understand,

A world with very little that
Can me annoy or vex—
A world that’s simple: lots of food—
Yeah, lots of surf and sex!”

*The Call of the Wild, 1903.

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