When the whale's jaws close, one man will be swallowed.
On this particular afternoon, James Bartley and ten other sailors had left the whaling ship in a small wooden boat. They were chasing whales and trying to kill them with harpoons. It was growing late. The sailors had already killed one whale and wounded another. Bartley's job was to steer the light wooden boat by controlling the rudder. While six men rowed and four men worked with the harpoons, Bartley held the handle that controlled the rudder and kept the boat headed for the whale.
But not James Bartley. He leaped too late and landed right in the whale's open mouth. That was the last his friends saw of Bartley for three days, although he was closer to them than they knew. Some of them had seen him fall into the whale's mouth. The captain and the crew decided that he must be dead.
The next day a whale floated to the surface near the ship. The sailors saw that it had been harpooned earlier. They hauled the dead whale onto the deck. For two days they worked on the whale, cutting off the meat and blubber. Finally one of the sailors said to the man next to him,
"I just remembered that only one wounded whale got away from us. "
The friend replied, "Yes, and this must be the one."
The first sailor asked, "Don't you know what that means? The wounded whale that got away from us was the one that swallowed Bartley. "
They laid the unconscious sailor on the deck. They rubbed his arms and legs to get the blood moving. They put pressure on his chest to help his heart beat better. Slowly, Bartley became conscious again. But he was out of his head. He cried out, "I am in a furnace!" He complained of great pain inside his head. He said that he felt terrible heat.
Tenderly, the sailors lifted Bartley from the deck and put him into a bed. At first he would fling himself about in his fever, but gradually he quieted down. When the ship reached England, Bartley was well enough to tell what had happened after the whale had flipped his boat into the water and broken it into pieces. He described his adventure inside the whale.
He said he remembered very well the moment he jumped from the boat and felt his feet strike something soft. "I felt myself being drawn downward, feet first. I realized that 1 was being swallowed by a whale. 1 was drawn lower and lower, a wall of flesh surrounding me, yet the pressure was not painful, and the flesh easily gave way before my slightest movement."
Once inside the whale's stomach, he felt great heat and pressure. Then he lost consciousness. He remembered nothing more until he awoke three days later, lying on the deck of the ship.
According to the Bible, Jonah lived inside a whale for four days. Bartley's experience was a shorter one, but it was more than he wanted.
1. James Bartley claimed that he lived inside a whale for _________ .
2. The Star of the East was ________.
3. Bartley's job was to _________ .
4. The boat was attacked by __________ .
5. Bartley fell __________ .
6. The sailors discovered that Bartley was ____________ .
7. After his adventure with the whale, _________ .
8. Scientists did not believe Bartley's story because _________ .
9. Another name for the story could be __________ .
10. This story is mainly about ______________ .
11. Blubber is a thick layer of ______________ under the whale's skin.
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