“Call me Ishmael,”
“I’m a sailor!
See me go.”
“Go, Ishmael, go!”
“You are a sailor!
Go get on your ship!”
“I’ll be gone for three whole years,”
“One, two, three—
will you think about me?”
“Uhhhh—sure. Three years,”
Jane said more than surprised.
“Oh, and I’ll be fine for three years—
thanks for asking.”
“I’m going whaling.
Sailing and whaling.
A sailor and a whaler!”
“You’re a whale of a sailor alright,
even if you’re a tad young and short,”
Jane said, looking askance.
“Set sail for that whale!
And if you’re going, then go already! I’ve got things to do.”
“Oh, you’ll see
I’ll board that ship
See me board the Pequod.
We will search for the great white whale and, with any luck,
I won’t poop my pants when we find him,”
“And I will bring back a whale of a tale regarding the tail of that whale.”
“You’re getting a little cutesy,”
“And it seems like
you’re all talk, Fishmael.”
“That’s ‘Ishmael’, you salty wench,”
“Even now I’m entering the Spouter Inn
to meet my fellow seamen.”
“You said ‘semen’,”
“And this Spouter Inn you mention, Admiral Stinky,
it sounds like a total dive. Don’t ever take me there, mmmkay?”
“Nay, woman, I shan’t. It is not meant for one as dainty as you.
There, I will meet the others
who will go on this terrific journey with me.
Lads with names like ‘Queequeg’ and ‘Flask.’
‘Giblet’ and ‘Shecky.’
‘Stubb’ and the good Captain Ahab.
He seems like a focused fellow!
I’m sure we’ll get along famously.”
Jane began to say something in reply
but was interrupted by the boorish tot—
“Oh, the fun we’ll have together.
Fun, fun, fun.
And perhaps I will get to be the harpooner.
I may be young but I’m good with sharp objects!
But I know this: I will awake at sea
with a burly man’s arm draped over me.
That’s the life of a sailor!
That’s the whaler’s life for me!” Dick droned on.
“You’re kinda long-winded, Dicky boy,”
“We each get two couplets
or do you not recall how this works?”
“Do not bother me with details, woman,”
“I’m already halfway across the sea
in search of that mammoth white devil.
And, by the way,
aren’t you supposed to be going up the hill
to fetch a pail of water?”
“That’s Jill, you idiot!”
“My name’s Jane.
“Alas, so many ports, so little time,”
“I will be in touch upon my return
my dearest Jane.
It is Jane, right?
Hopefully, you will embrace me upon my return
not like last time
when you greeted me with a flying frying pan.
Fly, frying pan, fly!
Across the room you fly until you find the wall!
So, wish me all the best as we go into battle with the beast
for I fear it will not go well
like the time I ate that cheese from Mexico.”
“Blah, blah, blah.
Does this mean you’re finally leaving?”
Jane could not hear his reply
for Dick/Ishmael had pedaled his tricycle/boat
away from her
and into the bay.
“Glug, glug, glug,”
said Dick/the bay.