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Cape Cod Blackfish Ashore

When the legislators of Massachusetts became all tangled up during the summer of 1955 in a debate on whether blackfish are really fish or a type of whale, the Provincetown Advocate waxed eloquent on the subject, as follows.

Time was when every seacoast man on Beacon Hill (Boston), his kith, kin, even to his babes, knew the blackfish and that they are small-size whales. To have them come ashore nearby was an act of Divine generosity that demanded instant acknowledgment. That preacher droning out his interminable sermon from the high pulpit atop the Hogsback heights of North Truro knew what to do when he happened to glance out the window toward the shore and saw it dark and writhing with struggling mammals.

“Blackfish ashore!” he shouted, as he slammed his Bible shut, “and not a damned Provincetowner in sight,” speeding down the aisle, leading his devout congregation to the great gift bestowed upon them, that bright Sunday in North Truro.

Back in the day, beached whales were considered a windfall as they were quite valuable to whoever discovered them.

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Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 02/13/06
Categories: HistoryNature
Keywords: history, whaling


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