The Sad Tale of a Whale

For swallowing stuff, says O'Harra McSnort,
There's no beating a whale, for a minute.
When he sees what he wants, he closes his eyes
And opens his mouth to the limit--

Then swallows the ocean surrounding the things
That appeal to the eye of this sinner,
And pumps out the sea through the top of his head
While he gulps down the bulk of his dinner.

'Twas on Newfoundland's banks that a squall hit our ship
And a coop on the deck, full of chickens,
Was swept o'er the rail where a mendicant whale
Lay awaiting to grab up the pickin's.

He opened his mouth for the coop, chicks and all,
Which he swallowed from feathers to cackle,
Though a coop full of chickies, twelve hens and a cock,
Is no job for a gourmet to tackle.

'Twas weeks after that, on the side of a berg,
That we found of the whale all that's mortal,
And held a post-mortem the reason to learn
Why the whale had slipped out of life's portal.

As we cut through his hide, the rooster inside
Started crowing--that settled the question.
We knew his demise was not due to his size
Nor even his faulty digestion.

You see, when the whale would get set for a nap
And in snoring or sleepily yawning
Would open his mouth, then the rooster would think,
Seeing light, that a new day was dawning.

So he'd ruffle his hackle and spread out his tail
With a squawk that would waken a mummy
Till the sea monster sighed and regretfully died
Of crowing pains down in his tummy.

--Author: LeRoy W. Snell
--Source: OCR scan of a copy of text typed on a manual typewriter by LeRoy Behling (with some minor corrections for OCR and typing errors and to clean up the formatting)