A Parable for A Sunday ~ The Whale, The Human & The Squid


I was in the Book Chat Page the other day and recommended an author named Piers Anthony, a wonderful sci-fi writer. He has a 7 book series titled “The Incarnations of Immortality”. I won’t describe them now, but they are very much worth the read if you care to look into them. They have some remarkable insights melted into their brilliant stories.

Over the last few days, I kept remembering a parable that was told in one of the books, and it kept insisting that I share it! So, I must listen! It is a fairly long passage, so I am going to paraphrase it a bit, for brevity’s sake, but it will still hold its message. It is still a bit of a read, but I hope you will read it all. Life is a series of understandings, misunderstandings and revelations. Sometimes these can be difficult to digest or “understand”, especially when we humans try to relate with one another. It seemed a good parable to share on a Sunday morning.

The passage is taken from the first book in the series, “On A Pale Horse”, by Piers Anthony: (Paraphrased)

“There was a young female whale named Wilda. She roamed the oceans of the world, happy in the company of her kind. But then hunters came, in their huge boats, and speared her mother, father, and bull friend (who she was going to marry). Wilda escaped, for she had learned magic; she changed her form to a trashfish and swam away.

She grieved, singing her whalesong of loss and pain, but she was angry too, and confused. Why should these creatures from land, called men, come to slay whales, who never harmed them? It seemed to make no sense. She realized she had no hope of dealing with the problem when she didn’t understand the motive of the enemy. So, Wilda changed herself into human form and walked to the fishing village where the whalers lived.

A young man named Hank took her into his home, where he lived with his mother. They clothed, fed and taught her the way of human kind. Wilda was intelligent and learned quickly. She also learned that Hank was a whaler, who went out to hunt whales, because that is how he earned his living. Here on land, food was not free for the taking. People could not simply swim about and open their mouths and swallow succulent squid. A human person had to work and get gold to buy the necessities that life on land required.

Now Wilda understood. There was no personal animosity here, the menfolk had a more pressing lifestyle than the whalefolk, which compelled them to acts they might not otherwise have considered. Perhaps if the menfolk were made to understand about the culture and feelings of the whales, things would change. She tried to explain to Hank, but his father had been killed by the flunder of a whales tail, so how could he feel for the whales?

So she brought Hank to the edge of the sea and walked into the water and returned to her natural form. She thought he would be revolted by her, but he cried and begged her to come back and marry him. But to Wilda, the call of the sea was now strong. She saw a handsome strong bull she thought she might mate with. But the bull told her he was really a squid who had assumed the form of her kind in order to learn why the whales preyed on the squids. Wilda was amazed and chagrined, for she had never thought of these creatures as having feelings or wisdom. Now, how could she return to devouring squid? Yet, she realized that death was a chain of eat and be eaten, with no justice to it except need, power, and chance, and in this respect, her species was no different from the human species or the squid species. It was all a matter of viewpoint. So she apologized to the squid, returned to land and resumed her human form, and married Hank.

Perhaps, if we (wo)men had a similar insight into the larger pattern of our existence, we too would accept the natural order, though at times it is painful for us.”

from the Desk of MarDrag:

We are all a “Wilda” seeking to understand why things are the way they are, or why people do the things they do. From our own “seas”, it is not always easy to see the land that others reside in. Nor can we change form like Wilda did and live in their land in order to understand better.

But the prize of this story is…..that we have the knowledge and wisdom to know that that “land” or “sea” exists….for ourselves and for others…..and with that knowledge comes the understanding that we all have our sea of life, and if we can have the compassion that Wilda finally finds for the squid and the human, then we can cast judgment and confusion away and let the Whale, The Human and The Squid reside side by side and thrive.

We do not know the shoes another walks in. Seek to come from love, understanding and acceptance rather than judgment or discord for we are all seekers and feeders living the lives we have been given as best we can, while hoping not to be fed upon.

Much Love & Blessings To All!


4 comments on “A Parable for A Sunday ~ The Whale, The Human & The Squid

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