Have you noticed that Whales have begun behaving a little oddly? A couple of years back we had Orca cavorting in the River Lee; then there was a whale that somehow got stuck in the Firth of the Forth; now according to reports, humpbacks are trying to force their way up the Bandon River. Nobody seems particularly worried, but when a whale starts to submarine up an inland waterway, that’s like a human flapping their arms and standing at the top of a skyscraper making tweet-tweet noises. One theory is that radar and sonar signals from shipping are messing with the inner tracking systems of these leviathans. But I personally think that they’re just trying to get away from Japanese and Norwegian people bearing harpoons. The smarter whales have decided to disguise themselves as overweight salmon, probably reasoning that the worst that can happen is fly-impaled top lip. For some years now, these harpoon-dodgers – posing as peel – have been splashing up the Bandon River to spawn, terrifying anglers and getting stuck under some of the smaller bridges. The Government have hushed it up as far as news reportage is concerned - obviously keen to maintain diplomatic relations with Japan to keep up a supply of Toyota’s and Nintendo consoles. And antagonising Norway after their last visitation in longboats is unthinkable. Government spokesmen have been putting it all down to an angler’s natural tendency to exaggerate the size of the fish they’ve lost:
“I’m telling ya, it must have weighed at least three tons and it was this long:”
Angler paces out fifty metre section of riverbank.
Well, last week the blubber hit the fan when two humpbacks became wedged under the arches of a bridge in Murragh. There were all manner of complaints from local farmers who claimed the whales kept them awake half the night with tuneless lugubrious singing.
“Twas like two auld fellers caterwauling after a crate of porter.” Was how one local put it to me. “T’wouldn’t have been so bad if they’d known the bleddy words.”
All of this got out only because photographs of the two whales struggling under the bridge with a coach going over the top, were posted on the Internet Site www.whalespretendingtobesalmon.ie. After this the whole story unravelled: accounts of anglers desperate not to relinquish hold of their rods, waterskiing on their belly’s from Innishannon to Enniskean. Even worse, some of the whales, on reaching the spawning pools around Dunmanway have been indulging in X-rated behaviour – enough to make David Attenborough blush. The problem being, that they can’t lay eggs and fertilize them like a salmon and so have been trying to reproduce normally in shallow pools. As whales are the largest mammals on earth in more ways than one, Peeping Toms have run screaming from the riverbank, vowing celibacy for life. Meanwhile, research at the other end of the salmon’s spawning cycle has suggested that weird whales are causing havoc with Canadian river fauna. Grizzly bears, for instance, who for aeons have stood at the top of waterfalls to snatch migrating salmon, have been particularly hard hit. Bears standing hopefully at the top of their local waterfall, have been head butted by three-ton minke whales leaping from a pool below. Reports suggest that the Grizzly population has been massively demoralised by it all. Understandably, waking up a little peckish and gambolling down to a nearby river for breakfast only to be torpedoed by something the size of a bus with a mouth you could hibernate in, has affected the appetite of many bears. Forest rangers claim thousands of the grizzlies are depressed and lie cowering in caves with paws over their heads. Teams of volunteers waving large picnic baskets have attempted to entice these Yogi’s from their lairs to no avail.
Clearly things will only get worse unless a ban on whaling is implemented immediately.
And if the government won’t get tough with Whaling Nations, ordinary people should take direct action themselves. Forget petitions. Just write a stiff letter to the Japanese or Norwegian governments and sign it Barack Obama. After all, if a humpback can change their identity, why shouldn’t you or I pretend to be President of the United States? Bush did.