To some cultures they were gods, keepers of wisdom, to others they were living monsters and the bringer of storms, and to a certain little wooden boy out at sea looking for his dad, one was simply known as ‘Monstro’!
Yes, take a deep breath because we’re diving down into the world of Wales, I mean Whales - although some of those Welsh rugby players are pretty monstrous!
One of these majestic water mammals, the blue whale, is said to be the biggest creature to have ever lived on earth. ‘But what about the dinosaurs’ you say? Yes, even bigger than the biggest of biggest dinosaurs, which is currently known to be Argentinosaurus, who weighed in at around 180,000 pounds - that’s only slightly more than half the size of a blue whale.
I mean come on, there’s no competition, a blue whale’s heart weighs as much as a car: their tongues alone can weigh the same as an elephant, and their new born babies are 25ft long!; oh, and these little nippers actually weigh more than an elephant. But whales don’t just break records for size in the animal kingdom, they are also the loudest of animals too - which isn’t surprising considering that they have to give birth to Jumbo sized babies… I mean literally Jumbo sized!
As you can expect, these animals have an appetite to match their bulk, as one African king once found out.
The king I talk of is King Sulemani, an East Africa ruler who had a knack for growing enormous crops of corn. These crops would feed all the people and animals in his land, and one day, after every man and beast was fed, Sulemani had a thought: what if he could feed the entire world?
Being quite a tall order, King Sulemani asked God for his assistance. God was not happy with the king's request, and sent forth a gigantic beast from the sea who devoured King Sulemani’s entire crop. Although this was not enough, and the whale said to the king, “I’m still hungry, feed me.” The King asked, “are there more of you?”, to which the whale replied, “70,000”!
Realising now that it was not his duty to feed the whole world - not forgetting it was completely beyond his means - the King repented and thanked God for this valuable lesson in humility.
Someone should read this story to that clown, Ronald McDonald… imagine a blue whale pulling into a McDonalds drive through! “You call that a “big” mac?”
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With the exception of artists, inventors, and teenagers - we humans are diurnal daytime creatures on the whole, and although it’s one thing to be out and about during the night in a street lit urban environment, it’s a very different scenario if you find yourself in, say… oh, I don’t know, a forest per se. Where, if you’re lucky, you may hear the unmistakable cry or hoot of an Owl: natures very own nocturne, a stark reminder of the unknown peril of night, and a creature that has featured heavily in myth and folklore throughout the ages.