The one that got away

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A toddler near St. John's had a most unusual encounter with a whale early Sunday morning.

"It was in my crib!" exclaimed the two-year-old loudly. "It was under my blankie and the other blankies."

Various species of whale are common in the ocean waters off Newfoundland and Labrador, but this marked the first reported sighting of a whale in this child's crib.

And based on the colours in the kid's description, it could be an entirely new species, one that might carry the Latin species name, "incrib thiswhalewas."

"He was big and blue and red," the toddler said. "And he was a happy whale, with a big smile on his face."

The boy reported the whale to his father just after 7 a.m.

He had been awake for an hour and had not asked/screamed to get up, so something had kept him quite occupied.

But was it a whale?

The boy was absolutely certain, and quite excited to host the massive mammal in his bed.

"We were playing," he said.

As he recounted the experience for the second time, his eyes opened wider, and he waved his arms and legs feverishly.

"A whale," he shouted. "A whale. A whale in my crib under the blankies!"

The child's father, who wanted to be identified only as "Steve," searched the crib, underneath the blankets, around the room and the rest of the house, but found no sign that a whale had been there, even briefly.

The blankets weren't even wet, and according to Steve, it would not be uncommon to find wet blankets in the boy's crib.

Asked where the whale went, the young fella quickly declared "Up in the field, up the hill."

Thinking his lack of hesitation was a sign this might not be a whale of a tall tale, Steve searched the field and hill but found no signs of life, except dandelions and tall grass.

Still, the boy stood his ground as his bum was being changed.

"The whale was in my crib under the blankets," he repeated, just as excited as he was during previous accounts of the whale story.

Based on the lack of physical evidence, Steve did not report the whale sighting to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans or provincial wildlife officers, although they may have heard the boy's excited shouting if they lived within a 90-mile radius of St. John's.

The toddler was steadfast on what he saw in his crib, and also about what the whale said to him.

"He told me he loved me," the boy said.

 

Steve Bartlett hopes readers don't mind him spouting off about the whale sighting. Reach him via email at sbartlett@thetelegram.com or on follow him on Twitter at @SteveBartlett_

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  • Virginia Middleton
    June 12, 2012 - 12:47

    I love hearing about conversations with kids. They come up with the most creative stuff! This past summer, my eldest niece and I created a persona for me one afternoon. We were playing in their swimming pool and from some floaties as props, I became the Scuba Diving Burrito (you had to be there; it made sense at the time). She ended up using her iTouch to do an "exclusive interview" and we improved a whole back story for my character. Apparently the Scuba Diving Burrito was a social activist for fellow Mexican and other ethnic foods that often have their rights ignored in the fast food industry... "It's too painful for me to talk about the Taco family and the injustices they've had to face!" It was one of the most memorable and fun afternoons I've ever had.