giant killers

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1: same men hunt an animal about thirty times as big as an elephant! It’s a whale.

2: In earlier times, they used to go after these giants in a boat hardly bigger than a canoe. Men would row the little boat right up to the whale. The man in front would throw his harpoon. Sometimes the whale would become angry and smash the boat in pieces. Sometimes it would tow the boat miles away from the mother ship. Many men died hunting whales.

3: Now all this is changed. Men hunt the whale with “catcher” boats. They are bigger and faster than the little whaleboats of other days. Some are over one hundred feet long and they are run by steam engines.

4:Let’s make be live we are on one of the new whale-catchers for a day. We are on deck before dawn. The lookout has sighted two whales. Now the catcher boat slows down and heads for two big grey shapes. They are blowing great clouds of air and water.

5: Up in the front of the boat a man is watching the whales. This man will now throw a harpoon. He will shoot the whale with a gun. A whale gun can send a harpoon much farther than a man can throw it.

6: Now the catcher boat comes nearer the two giants. One dives under the water. The gunner aims at the other. He fires! The harpoon finds its mark. In a few minutes the whale is dead.

7: The men have to work fast now. They pull it over to the side of of the catcher. Then they pump air inside the whale. If they did not do this, the giant would sink under the water and they would lose it. For the first time the men see just how big their giant is. It is larger than a big truck. It is over fifty feet long.

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