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The whale is the largest fish that is in the ocean. You
would say, if you should see it afloat, that it is an island,
that sits upon the sea sand. When this fish, so unwieldy,
is hungry he opens his jaws wide, and out of his throat
comes a sweet odor, the sweetest thing that is on earth.
When other fish perceive it they are glad to draw near ;
they come and hover in his mouth, unaware of his deceit.
Then the whale shuts his jaws, sucking in all these fish.
It is only the small ones he thus deceives ; the big ones
he cannot catch. This fish dwells at the bottom of the
ocean, and lives there, always hale and well, until it comes
to be the time when storms stir all the sea. Then summer
and winter contend, and the whale cannot stay there, be-
cause the sea bottom is so turbid, so he rises and lies still,
while the weather is so bad. Sailors in the ships driven
about on the sea, dreading to die and anxious to live, look
around and see this fish, and, believing it is an island, are
very happy as they draw near ; with all their strength they
cast anchor, and go upon the island. By flint and steel
they start a fire burning well on this wonder, and warm
themselves, and eat and drink. The whale, feeling the
fire, sinks them, for he quickly dives down to the bottom
of the sea and thus drowns them all.
This devil is strong in wile and might, as witches are
in their craft ; he makes men hunger and thirst and have
sinful desires ; he entices men to him with his breath ;
whoever follows him finds shame. It is the ones of little
faith whom he deceives, not those who are strong and
steadfast in flesh and spirit, holding to the true faith.
He who listens to the devil's teachings will at last repent
it sorely ; he who fastens his hope on him will follow him
to dim hell.