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‘Blue Whale in the Sky’

Special to The Times

“I see a blue whale in the sky too, Jeremy. Want me to tell you about what I see?”

“Like a game, Dad?”

“That’s right, Jeremy. My whale is about as long as several buses lined up end to end. And it would take you awhile to walk around it.”

“How could I walk around it in the sky?” Jeremy asked with a frown.

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“But remember you said everything was upside-down today,” Dad reminded him. “Here’s another hint. One of the earliest ones seen was as long as two football fields. Imagine that.”

Jeremy brightened, “Yeah, I can see it now, about two Rose Bowls.”

“Do you think your whale has eyes?” asked Dad.

“Of course. All whales have eyes.”

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“Listen to this. Sometimes my whale’s skin is covered with thousands of red, blue, green and yellow eyes.”

“Wow!” exclaimed Jeremy.

“Your whale, on the other hand, can talk,” added Dad.

“Oh, come on, Dad. Quit kidding.”

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“No, I’m serious, son. Whales like yours make a low whistle sound that can travel for hundreds of miles. It is said that blue whales are the loudest animals on Earth -- they are even louder than a jet engine. They use this sound to communicate and to find mates.”

“Tell me more, Dad.”

“During World War II, my kind of whale was used to help spot enemy subs. They also worked as escorts for convoys of ships and served as early-warning radar stations. There aren’t as many in the world today.”

“Why?” Jeremy pondered.

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“Some met with disasters, others lost their usefulness, and old age has put many out of service,” Dad explained.

“Gee.”

“And your whale’s numbers have been greatly reduced too,” continued Dad. “So many of them were hunted and killed that they are now an endangered species.”

Wednesday: What are Jeremy and his dad talking about?

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This story will be on The Times’ Web site at www.latimes.com/kids.


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