Monday, August 15, 2011

"Moby Maybe" from Edcon Publishing

Sam is aiming his harpoon gun at a killer whale.

A place you will read about: Vancouver, a city near the Pacific Ocean. Things you will read about: harpoon gun: a gun that shoots spears. Statue: a piece of art that is made to look like a person or animal and that is usually made of stone, wood, clay, or metal.

Sam leaned over the side of the boat, when he saw a huge black fin heading towards him. That fin told him it was a killer whale. Sam raised his harpoon gun, took aim, and fired. The knife at the end of the rope hit its mark. The whale leaped out of the water squeaking loudly. It was not dead, just wounded. Sam needed a dead whale as a model for the statue he was to make for the city of Vancouver.

The whale was swimming quietly on its line and would be easy to hit. Sam picked up his gun again, aimed, then stopped. An idea struck him! No killer whale had ever been caught and kept alive for doctors to study. This could be the first one. Sam had to work fast if he were to save the whale's life. He sent a radio call to Vancouver. He wanted doctors waiting at the dock with a salt water tank for the whale.

During the long trip back, Sam decided his whale ought to have a name. He remembered the famous whale story, Moby Dick, and thought that Moby Dick would be a good name. But what if it were a girl whale? Then Moby Doll might be better. Since Sam wasn't sure, he decided on Moby Maybe.

News about Sam and Moby Maybe spread through the city quickly, and thousands of people were waiting at the dock to greet them. Doctors carefully took out the knife and gave the whale something to help its wound get better. Sam spent many days sitting on a float in Moby Maybe's tank, keeping the whale company while it got better. A killer whale could easily break up a float with its tail if it wanted to, but Moby didn't. The whale seemed to know that Sam was its friend.

One thing did worry Sam. Moby wasn't eating. No matter what kind of meat or fish Sam offered, Moby refused everything. This went on for eight weeks. Then, one day, the whale started flapping its tail as if to get Sam's attention. Sam threw Moby a fish, and the whale ate it. Then Sam threw two more, and Moby ate them, too. Crowds around Moby's tank cheered. Stories about Moby' s first meal appeared on the front page of every Vancouver newspaper. Moby had become the city's pet, and news that the whale had eaten, made the whole city happy.

Soon, Moby was eating one hundred pounds of fish every day. The whale, who had been quiet and shy before, now leaped and played in the water. One day, Sam announced lunch by slapping the water with the fish that Moby liked best - cod. Moby swam up to Sam, took the fish from him, and ate it. Then Sam held the next fish high in the air to get the whale to leap for it. Moby took one look at where Sam was holding the fish and quickly dived under the water.

The whale came up on the other side of the tank flapping its tail in anger. When Sam lowered the fish closer to the water, Moby came back and took it. Next, Sam splashed the water with a rockfish. Moby took one look at the sharp fins on the fish's body and swam away. The whale showed its anger again by flapping its tail. But when Sam had cut off the sharp fins, Moby returned and ate the fish. Sam was discovering just how smart Moby was. The whale had a mind of its own! Moby was training Sam, instead of Sam training Moby.

The doctors were eager to test Moby's hearing, for they knew that whales have a very sharp sense of hearing. They played recordings of calls of other killer whales for Moby. When the whale heard them, it answered them with excited squeaks. But when doctors played a recording of Moby's own voice, the whale paid no attention to it at all.

After a few months, Moby's shiny black skin started turning gray. The doctors began to worry. They found that the trouble was with the water in the tank. It wasn't as salty as the ocean water. Plans were made to move Moby's tank to another dock where the water was better. But before the tank could be moved, Moby took one last dive. The mighty killer whale never came up again. Divers went into the tank and discovered the whale dead at the bottom. They also discovered that Moby Maybe was really Moby Doll!

Sam finally made his statue for the city of Vancouver. But to him, it was not just a statue of a killer whale. It was a way to honor Moby Doll. For she had taught the world just how clever killer whales really are.

1. When Sam shot the whale, _______
a. it dived under the water quickly.
b. it leaped out of the water squeaking.
c. it attacked his boat with its tail.
d. it broke the line and swam away.

2. Sam was out hunting a whale _________
a. to keep as a family pet.
b. to study how whales behave.
c. to use as a model for a statue.
d. to teach it to do tricks.

3. Sam decided not to kill the whale because ___________
a. he wanted to let doctors study it.
b. his gun wasn't working too well.
c. the people of Vancouver didn't want him to.
d. he was afraid other whales would attack him.

4. Sam named the whale Moby Maybe because ____________
a. Moby was Sam's last name.
b. it was the name of a famous whale story.
c. the doctors thought it was a good name.
d. he wasn't sure if it was a boy or girl whale.

5. Vancouver newspapers had stories of Moby on the front page because ________
a. there was no other news to print.
b. people were very interested in the whale.
c. Sam asked them to put it there.
d. that was where they always put animal stories.

6. After the whale started eating, ____________
a. it leaped and played in the water.
b. it became quiet and shy.
c. it attacked Sam and the doctors.
d. it flapped its tail in anger.

7. Moby got angry when Sam ____________
a. slapped the water with a fish.
b. held the fish high in the air.
c. sat on a float in the tank.
d. cut off the sharp fins on the fish.

8.When doctors played recordings of other whales' voices, ________
a. Moby paid no attention to them.
b. Moby swam away in anger.
c. Moby leaped out of the water.
d. Moby answered with excited squeaks.

9. Another name for this story could be __________
a. "Sam, The Whale Hunter."
b. "How to Feed Killer Whales."
c. "The Clever Killer Whale."
d. "Animal Doctors at Work."

10. This story is mainly about _____________
a. the different kinds of fish killer whales eat.
b. catching whales off the coast of Vancouver.
c. things doctors learned by studying a killer whale.
d. a killer whale's sharp sense of hearing.

Moby Doll in Wikipedia. Here you will read that the official name for "Killer Whale" is "Orca".

Orca and Dog conversation from Youtube. Don't miss this. It's amazing.

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