In the sea, once upon a time there was a Whale, and he ate fishes. He ate all the fishes which he could find in all the sea. Till at last there was only one small Fish in all the sea, and he was a very small Fish, and he swam a little behind the Whale's right ear, so as to be out of danger.

Then the Whale stood up on his tail and said, "I'm hungry." And the small Fish said in a small voice, "Noble and generous Whale, have you ever tasted Man?"

"No," said the Whale. "What is it like?"

"Nice," said the small Fish. "Nice but tickly."

"Then bring me some," said the Whale.

"One at a time is enough," said the small Fish. "If you swim to latitude Fifty North, longitude Forty West you will find one shipwrecked Mariner. He is sitting on a raft, in the middle of the sea, with nothing on but a pair of blue trousers, a pair of suspenders (you must not forget the suspenders!) and a knife. But I must tell you he is a very clever and a very brave man."

So the Whale swam and swam to latitude Fifty North, longitude Forty West, as fast as he could swim, and he found the shipwrecked Mariner on a raft, in the middle of the sea, with nothing on but a pair of blue trousers, a pair of suspenders (you must remember the suspenders) and a knife.

Then the Whale opened his mouth, and he swallowed the shipwrecked Mariner, and his raft, and his blue trousers, and the suspenders (which you must not forget), and the knife. They all rolled down into his warm dark belly and then he shut his mouth, and turned round three times on his tail.

But as soon as the Mariner, who was a very clever and a very brave man, found himself inside the Whale's warm, dark belly, he jumped and he thumped, and he pranced and he danced, and he hit and he bit, and he leaped and he creeped, and he hopped and he dropped, and he cried and he sighed, and the Whale felt most unhappy indeed. (Have you forgotten the suspenders?)

So he said to the small Fish, "This man is very tickly. What shall I do?"

"Tell him to come out," said the small Fish.

So the Whale said to the shipwrecked Mariner, "Come out and don't tickle me."

"No!" said the Mariner. "I don't want to come out. Take me to my native shore, to the country which is called Albion, and I'll think about it." And he began to dance more than ever.

"You had better take him home," said the small Fish to the Whale. "I have told you that he is a very clever and a very brave man."

So the Whale swam and swam and swam as fast as he could, and at last he saw the Mariner's native shore and the country which is called Albion, and he came up to the shore, and opened his mouth wide and wide and wide, and the Mariner walked out of his mouth.

Now I must tell you that while the Whale had been swimming across the sea, the Mariner, who was indeed a very clever and a very brave person, took his knife and cut up his raft and made a little grating, and he tied it with his suspenders (now you know why you had to remember the suspenders!), and he put that grating into the Whale's throat, and there it stuck! Then he recited the following rhyme:

By means of a grating

I have stopped your ating.

And he walked out on the shore, and went home to his mother; and he married and lived happily for many years. So did the Whale. But from that day on, the grating stuck in his throat, and he could not get rid of it. And so he could eat only very, very small fish; and that's why whales nowadays never eat men or boys or little girls.

The small Fish went and hid himself deep under the Equator. He was afraid that the Whale was angry with him.

The Mariner took the knife home. He had his blue trousers on when he walked out on the shore. But he had no suspenders because, as you remember, he had to tie the grating with them; and that is the end of that tale.

A. Look at the picture. How is this person called in the story?

B. Find mistakes in the picture.

C. Find the adjectives in the story to describe the:

whale, fish, mariner, trousers, whale's belly, grating, shore

D. Answer the questions.

  1. Where did the whale live?
  2. Why couldn't he find anything to eat one day?
  3. What did the small fish do to be out of danger?
  4. What advice did the small fish give the whale?
  5. Where did the whale find the mariner? Find the place on the map.*
  6. What did the mariner look like?
  7. What did the mariner do inside the whale's belly?
  8. What country was the mariner from?**
  9. What did the mariner leave inside the whale?
  10. How did he make it?
  11. What happened to the mariner?
  12. What happened to the whale?
  13. What did the small fish do? Why?

* .
** - .

E. Name the characters who:

  1. ate all the fishes
  2. spoke in a small voice
  3. was sitting on a raft
  4. swallowed the mariner
  5. danced and pranced
  6. gave advice
  7. swam to Albion
  8. walked out on the shore
  9. hid himself deep under the equator

F. Fill in the words:

throat, shore, raft, whale, belly, longitude, suspenders, grating, mariner, knife, latitude, native, stuck, dance, tickle, advised, swallowed, shipwrecked.

  1. The was hungry, and the small fish him to taste Man.
  2. The whale swam to Fifty North, Forty West.
  3. There the whale found the mariner on a .
  4. The had nothing on but a pair of blue trousers, a pair of and a .
  5. The whale opened his mouth and the mariner and his raft.
  6. When the mariner found himself inside the whale's warm dark he began to jump and . and make a lot of noise.
  7. The whale asked the mariner to come out and not to him.
  8. The mariner told the whale to take him to his shore, to the country called Albion.
  9. While the whale swam across the sea, the mariner took his , cut up his and made a small .
  10. He tied the grating with his and put it into the whale's , and the grating there.
  11. The whale came up to the , opened his mouth wide, and the mariner walked out and went home.
  12. The whale couldn't get rid of the in his , and so he could eat only very small fish.

G. Learn the words of exercise F for the dictation.

H. Answer the questions.

  1. The setting is the time and place where the story happens. What is the setting of the story?
  2. Is it a true story or a tale? Why do you think so?
  3. Who are the characters in the story?
  4. What problems does each character have? How do they try to solve them?
  5. Prove that the mariner was: a) brave; b) clever.
  6. Write down adjectives to characterize the a) whale; b) fish; and explain where they showed these qualities.
  7. Read the description of the mariner's behaviour inside the whale's belly. What can you say about the words? Which word is misspelled?
  8. Read the rhyme the mariner recites. Which word is misspelled?
  9. Which of the characters changes by the end of the story? Is it a positive or a negative change?

I. Retell the story.

J. Learn the dialogues and role-play the story.

K. Tell the story from the point of view of:

a) the mariner; b) the whale.