Sunday, September 16, 2012



"The White Seal"

Rudyard Kipling

Roddy McDowall

From Wikipedia:
Kotick, a rare white-furred Northern Fur Seal, searches for a new home for his people, where they will not be hunted by humans. The "animal language" words and names in this story are a phonetic spelling of Russian spoken with an Aleut accent, for example "Stareek!" (= Старик!) = "old man!", "Ochen scoochnie" (said by Kotick) = "I am very lonesome" = Очень скучный (correctly means "very boring"), holluschick (plural -ie) (= холостяк, pl. -и = "bachelor") (used in the story for "unmarried" young adult seals).

A young white seal pup named Kotick is born. The cute little seal is a bit of an outcast to his peers, but is definitely not inferior. Kotick is the kind-hearted son of the great seal leader who witness the cruelties of seal hunters and is determined to find a safe place for his seal tribe. Because of his solitude, Kotick notices more of what's going on than the other seals, and must try to save them from seal hunters. As he grows up, he learns of the deadly threat that human hunters pose to his herd. While Kotick is able to save the herd on one occasion, he is aware that the threat will never end. While suitable for the whole family, this film does not skimp on the scary images with club-bearing humans, killer sharks and menacing hammerheads as Kotick searches for the great Sea Cow who can lead him to a place where seals can live in peace.

From the source:
[Kotick] was always learning. Matkah taught him to follow the cod and the halibut along the under-sea banks and wrench the rockling out of his hole among the weeds; how to skirt the wrecks lying a hundred fathoms below water and dart like a rifle bullet in at one porthole and out at another as the fishes ran; how to dance on the top of the waves when the lightning was racing all over the sky, and wave his flipper politely to the stumpy-tailed Albatross and the Man-of-war Hawk as they went down the wind; how to jump three or four feet clear of the water like a dolphin, flippers close to the side and tail curved; to leave the flying fish alone because they are all bony; to take the shoulder-piece out of a cod at full speed ten fathoms deep, and never to stop and look at a boat or a ship, but particularly a row-boat. At the end of six months what Kotick did not know about deep-sea fishing was not worth the knowing.

If you'd like to read the original story by Kipling......


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