One In the country, the moon cannot be ignored. Li Bai said, “I don’t know the moon when I am young, and I call it a white jade plate.” This is an impression he has had since childhood. If people want to have the innocent and romantic experience of the ancients, I am afraid it can only be achieved in the countryside. Because the moon is large and common. It is not as faint as a star, and is easily obscured by dust and light pollution in the atmosphere. But there are too many bright things in the city at night. The cold half of the moon in the middle of the sky is something for a child. Feeling, sometimes it may not be more than a street lamp on the side of the road, or a light extinguished in the building opposite. But the country is different. In the vast darkness at night, on the rolling fields, ponds and hillsides, the presence of the moon reaches people’s hearts. The unobstructed and unobstructed environment makes it difficult to not notice the only significant bright light source in the sky, whether it is dusk or dark night, as long as you are outside. The moon is one of the first things that children who grew up in the country knew. People in my hometown used to teach children to identify the moon, and there were special ballads, starting with “Moon Moon Baba”, but now I can’t remember it clearly. Baba is a round cake made with glutinous rice flour and indica rice flour blended and stewed. There are pickled vegetable baba, wormwood baba, pumpkin baba, sugar heart baba, etc. It is a popular snack for children throughout the year. The name “Moon Baba” has a kind of intimacy related to daily life. When I was young, I liked to go to relatives’ house for dinner with adults, because I like to walk at night when I come back, which is different from the usual happiness. If it was dinner and it was already dark when I came back, I would be very happy, and my heart would be full of unknown joy. The adults had drunk enough, and they were all a little drunk at the moment, filed on the side of ponds and ridges in the countryside. The flashlighter walked in the front, the child walked in the middle, and finally an adult was remanded in custody, lest the child who fell in the end was afraid of being chased by a tiger, a wolf, or some other terrifying ghost in the story. There are no street lights in the country, and flashlights were the most interesting artificial light source in our lives at that time. Sometimes, the battery of the flashlight runs out (this is a common occurrence because we don’t have money and can’t afford a new battery), or when we go out, we don’t expect to come back so late. Without a flashlight, we will also ignite the fire on winter nights. Put. In the harvested rice fields by the roadside, piles of cone-shaped haystacks are piled up. Go to such a pile of straw to draw two straws under your armpits, pull out a bunch of straws, and light them with a match to become a torch. In the hand, shining all the way. The flames burned on people’s faces, and the burnt black ash was flying, which was very interesting. One bundle of straw was about to burn out, so he drew another bundle to continue, and the last bit of straw in his hand was thrown on the ground. When we go to school in the winter morning, we can often see such straw stalks scattered on the road, a small handful every other segment, the straw stalks are burnt black. It was very cold at night. There was a thick layer of hoarfrost on the ground, and the straw was also covered with snow-white frost. When the sun came out, it was dried. This is a moonless night. When the moon comes out, all these lighting methods are unnecessary. From this perspective, when walking at night in the country, the moon is really important. How many batteries can we save! With the moon, the feeling of walking at night is very different. You don’t need to lower your head and concentrate on the potholes that may appear under your feet, chasing the light source in the hands of the person in front of you, especially on the road, you can loosely stretch the distance, while walking slowly and raising your eyes. Looking around the fields under the moon. The moon is too bright, and the frivolity of light is shining on the fields that can be seen to the eye. The rice crops stretch, one after another, and stand densely and neatly together. The green is almost fading, only not so pure black. The flowers and leaves in the vicinity can still be seen clearly, and the shadows of the mountains in the distance are deep and dark. There are always sounds, frogs in spring, insects in summer and autumn, and the barking of a dog sleeping at the door of the house in winter nights. The adults talked as they walked, the children followed, and they fell to the last inadvertently. Will there be ghosts in the grave that just passed in front of them? I was so scared that I hurriedly walked a few steps, hurried to the adults, and walked up as if nothing had happened. two Compared to the bright moon that rises in the sky and has become brilliant, I prefer the red moon when it rises or is about to set. The door of the house faces west, and the doorway is the paddy field. At that time, even the poplar trees that blocked the view on National Highway 318 had not been planted, so there were many opportunities to see the setting moon when I was young. On the third and fourth nights of the third and fourth lunar month, the crescent moon, as thin as a copper hook, is as red as a salted duck egg yolk. It suddenly lights up on the dark blue mountain shadow in the west at dusk. Only then can you notice its existence, and think it has risen. of. The pink and deep purple colors of the sunset gradually disappeared, and the dark blue in the evening covered everything, the clouds became dim, and the moon became more and more red, and soon fell behind the mountain and disappeared. When I was a child, I didn’t understand the charm of this slender red falling moon. “Poor on the third night of September, it looks like a pearl and moon like a bow.” The poems printed on the textbooks are just memorized like that. I don’t think there is anything special. . Until the age of nearly 30, one year when he returned home during the Chinese New Year, he went out to pour water on the third day of the first lunar month. At a glance, he saw a crescent moon in the sky, like an orange light through a paper window. The sky is full of stars, and what I saw as a child and the emotional experience after adulthood came to my heart at the same time. At that moment, it gave me inspiration and made me understand the remoteness and greatness of nature, and how strong seeds can be planted in people’s hearts. Even if this kind of child sleeps for a long period of time, when there is a suitable time in the future, it will still wake up immediately and pass on the melancholy and understanding of beauty that have been common to people since ancient times. At the full moon, the moon rises first, and before it rises almost as high as the top of the metasequoia tree, it is also red. This red is not as eye-catching as the color of the crescent moon setting, but because it is huge and complete, it reflects the faint shadow of the moon, which is very moving. In addition is the moon during the day. The pink moon printed in the sky at mid-morning or mid-afternoon, there is no trace of the dazzling crystal light in the night, it is all convergent and warm, on a pale blue sunny day, like a chalk drawing forgotten on a blackboard, Someone accidentally rubbed a small part of it with the palm of his hand. Such a moon is moving. When I was studying in Nanjing, I could see the moon rising next to the plane trees next to the school playground. We go for a walk at dusk, always to see if the moon is in the sky. During the time of preparing for the exam and writing the graduation thesis, I went especially a lot. After dinner every day, in order to digest and take a short rest, I always go to the playground for a few laps. From the silver hook to the sickle, to combing the back, to halfway through, and finally to perfection, and gradually deficiencies, it quickly reminds people of the passage of time, and people are still in dreams and do not want to move. In the spring, Meihua will thank you, the doctoral examination has ended, and the interview is close at hand. We stayed in the research room of the Liberal Arts Building all day, and we didn’t know what to prepare. One day at dusk, I went out to eat alone. I walked to the plum tree in a grassy field in front of the building. I saw that the pink and white moon on the pale blue sky was very quietly pasted there. The warm wind blew by and turned from pink to pink. The pale petals rustled down and fluttered in arrays. At that moment I thought, it turned out that “Luomeifeng” is like this… The next day was an interview. The tutor I applied for was a very popular teacher. Before the interview was my turn in the morning, I was holding a book downstairs and saw a middle-aged man from a foreign school standing under the plum tree from a distance, reading a copy of “Ancient Chinese Literature History” by Yuan Xingpei. . The person who appeared downstairs in this building at this time should be a competitor who reported to the same mentor as me. Thinking of this, I was terribly scared, so I had to run upstairs in advance to avoid seeing him again, but I felt even more scared. Later, I didn’t pass the exam, and the man didn’t know if he got it. The plum blossoms that fell and the appearance of the moon have been remembered in my mind ever since. three In the past few years of living in the north, what is unforgettable is that one autumn, I went to a long distance to play with my friends. When I came back through Guyuan and Dushikou, there were many potatoes and oats on the roadside, spreading like a ribbon on the far hillside. Shows the autumn colors of yellow and green. That day was the second day after the Mid-Autumn Festival. On a section of the Tucheng wall in Dushikou, a huge full moon in the evening, with a little prosperous and then vacancy, was rising from the horizon. In the distance, on the ridges with distinct hills in the north, the moon rose higher and higher, and finally became cold and bright in the deep blue sky. The mountain wind was extremely cold, and the huge windmill around me slowly turned and made a rumbling sound, which sounded like an airplane flying far in the sky. Although it has been frozen enough, this kind of unquestioned freedom is already as precious as an unreachable moon. People often say that you can see flowers several times in your life. In fact, how many full moons can you see in your life?

In the seaside town of Eden in southern Australia, there is a cetacean museum where a special set of killer whale bones are displayed. The remains belong to a killer whale named Tom Old, which was on the coast of Eden at the beginning of the last century. The leader of a pack of killer whales. For 60 years, it led a group of killer whales to help the Davidson family hunt baleen whales. Davidson also reached the “Tongue Rule” to thank the old Tom. However, this human whale legend changed as Davidson’s grandson George inherited his career. He did not wait for the old Tom to enjoy the feast, he snatched the baleen whale, and caused the old Tom to lose his teeth, causing it to die in pain because of inability to eat. The regretful George established the museum. The bones of old Tom lay quietly in the museum, telling posterity a story about an agreement and betrayal between a killer whale and a human.

Use killer whales to hunt baleen whales
In 1892, Alexander Walker Davidson, a carpenter from Scotland, and his son John Simpson Davidson established a land-based whaling station on the southern coast of Yatu Verde Bay, Australia. They used long-length whaling boats with human paddles to catch close to the coast. The large baleen whales in the world include southern right whales, migratory humpback whales, blue whales, and minke whales. At that time, the age of mechanical industry had not yet been fully entered, and whale oil, whale bones and whale baleen were all valuable. In less than a few years, Alexander made a lot of money.

Although he has made a lot of money, Alexander has encountered a lot of dangers. In addition to the baleen whales in the bay, the large number of fish also attracts many killer whales. They have a great appetite, and even humans are always welcome.

One day in June 1900, Alexander went to sea to hunt whaling as usual. He commanded the crew to close the nets. Sometimes the baleen whales jumping out of the water made him excited, but after a while, he broke into a cold sweat because he saw it around the seine. Orca, he knows that these guys like to eat the tongue of baleen whales. With so many baleen whales in the fishing nets, they will certainly not let go of such a good hunting opportunity. Alexander was directing the crew while observing the movement of the killer whale. Just as the crew was about to pull the baleen whale onto the fishing boat, one killer whale shook the fishing boat violently, and the other killer whale rushed towards the baleen whale in the fishing net. Under the attack of the killer whale, a hole appeared in the fishing net.

“Let go of the net!” Alexander directed the crew anxiously, but his voice dissipated in the sound of the waves. At this moment, a big wave hit, and the crew member Daim was swept into the sea in an instant. The other crew tried to rescue Daim, but the killer whale quickly swam behind Daim and bit him and sank into the sea. The crew shouted Daim’s name, and Alexander sat down on the side of the ship in despair.

Ten minutes later, the sea was calm and there were only battered fishing nets floating.

Back to the shore, Daim’s wife who heard the news rushed over. In order to appease Daim’s wife, Alexander paid 5,000 pounds. Losing money is a trivial matter. After this catastrophe, Alexander had a lingering fear, and he did not go to sea for the next six months.

Sitting and eating in the sky is not the answer. After six months of suffering, Alexander decided to venture out to sea. Although he was fully prepared, something happened. Two crew members had an accident while they were snatching the baleen whale. Boarded the ship, but was seriously injured. In two consecutive accidents, the crew members offered to resign. Alexander increased his salary, but did not recruit enough crew members.

“Maybe we can recruit some local indigenous people!” Old crew member John Das suggested to Alexander. Alexander didn’t think about recruiting indigenous people, but he was really worried that these indigenous people would be difficult to manage. “As far as I know, in the legends of the indigenous people, their ancestors and killer whales were telepathic. Long before the Europeans arrived in Australia, the indigenous people cooperated with the killer whales to hunt large baleen whales in the bay. He has a very unique way of communicating and cooperating with the killer whales.” After much consideration, Alexander decided to adopt John Das’s suggestion.

In order to recruit crew members, Alexander increased the treatment and allowed the indigenous people to enjoy the same treatment as the white crew members. The news spread quickly among the local indigenous people, but to Alexander’s disappointment, an interviewer did not come. As soon as John Das understood, the native natives didn’t believe that they could get equal pay for the same work as the whites. So Alexander offered a reward for carrying 100 catties of fish in the port. The bounty was 50 pounds. An aboriginal who held a try came out. Soon he got the bounty from Alexander’s hands. The name of integrity spread.

Alexander kept his promise, not only to ensure equal pay for the natives and whites for equal work, but also to improve their food treatment when they went to sea. When Alexander curiously asked how they would face the vicious killer whales, the natives did not answer, but just prepared him to harvest the baleen whales.

After going out to sea, Alexander paid close attention to the conditions of the sea. He was really worried about the killer whale that suddenly jumped out of the water. But the native crew members were talking and laughing like nothing happened. When they arrived at the intended sea area, the indigenous people began to release their nets. To Alexander’s surprise, he didn’t know what spell the natives cast. The fierce killer whales obediently obeyed their commands. When large baleen whales, especially baleen whales with their cubs, pass by, the pack of killer whales will line up. The baleen whales are driven toward the shallow waters of the coast in an array, and they take turns to pounce on the head of the baleen whale to press the baleen whale into the water and hinder its breathing.

After the death of the baleen whales, the native crew were not in a hurry to catch their carcasses, but let the killer whales enjoy a gluttonous feast until they ate the tongue of the baleen whale and went away happily.

Seeing Alexander’s blank face, an indigenous person explained: “What killer whales like is the tongue of baleen whales. This is the reward they deserve for helping hunting.” Alexander suddenly understood that the indigenous people have no curse, it’s just them. Know how to share with killer whales.

The aboriginal crew also told Alexander that this is the “tongue rule” reached between the aboriginals and the killer whale. Every time a large baleen whale is hunted, the tongue of the baleen whale is reserved for the killer whale. Over time, whenever they go out to fish When baleen whales, the killer whales will set off with the boat and become their right-hand man in fishing for baleen whales.

The deep friendship between man and whale
Half a month later, Alexander and the crew set off again. With the last experience, his hanging heart was relieved, and he laughed and laughed with the crew along the way. Just as Alexander’s gaze fell on the surface of the sea, hoping to return with a full load, suddenly a killer whale appeared in his sight. This is a male killer whale, about 22 feet long, with a dorsal fin up to 5 feet, and the upper edge of the dorsal fin slightly to the right. Twisted and tilted, around it are three female killer whales and two killer whale cubs. Looking at the group of killer whales, all the members joked that Alexander had hired a group of free workers and named the leader of the killer whale Old Tom.

When the fishing boat arrived in the predetermined sea area, Old Tom swam to the side of the boat and jumped high out of the water, as if to remind the crew to prepare the harpoon, and his team was about to “drive the whales into the harbor” in a moment. After seeing the signal, the crew quickly assembled and set off in a small whaling boat. Old Tom bit the towing rope and guided the whaling boat to quickly reach the baleen whale.

With the help of old Tom, the baleen whales were surrounded by fishing nets. The crew took out harpoons to attack the baleen whales, and then tied the ropes and anchored them. At this moment, the killer whales, who were waiting quietly around him, swarmed up and ate the tongue of the baleen whale while tearing.

After a few minutes, the sea returned to calm. Watching old Tom leave with the pack of killer whales contentedly, Alexander commanded the crew to catch the baleen whale on the ship. He checked the body of the baleen whale, and there was no damage to the other parts except the tongue.

Alexander completely fell in love with old Tom. When he was not going to sea, he would go boating in the bay. Once, Alexander and Old Tom met unexpectedly, and Old Tom’s body kept rubbing Alexander’s boat. Alexander hurriedly took out the little fish he had just caught, and Old Tom was not picky eaters and feasted on them. After playing with Alexander for half an hour, old Tom shook his body and left.

The next day, Alexander ran into old Tom again in the bay, and old Tom kept coming out of the water like an old friend. Alexander was puzzled. With the large amount of fishing, there was no food in the bay. Could old Tom come to the bay so often to wait for himself? Sure enough, as he expected, Alexander met old Tom in the bay several times later.

In July 1905, a huge typhoon swept through Australia, and Yatu Verde Bay was the first to bear the brunt of the typhoon’s landing site. Listening to the strong wind blowing outside, Alexander was inexplicably worried about old Tom: “Will it come to the bay to wait for me? What if it is hit by a capsize?”

When the wind and waves were slightly smaller, Alexander drove the boat out to sea regardless of the crew’s prevention. A few minutes before the boat sailed out, Alexander felt that something was arching the boat. He looked back and saw that it was old Tom. It was fine. It was still waiting for itself in the bay! After a moment of excitement, Alexander took out the prepared fish. After feeding old Tom, Alexander reluctantly returned to the coast.

A few days later, the typhoon dissipated and Alexander was about to go out to sea again. In the harbor, he saw the waiting old Tom, who led the group of killer whales and followed the fishing boat. After reaching the predetermined sea area, Old Tom clung to the rope expertly and led the group of killer whales to drive the baleen whales into the fishing nets. Just when everything was in order, the group of killer whales was panicked and dispersed, only Old Tom biting the rope. Alexander glanced intently and saw a few sharks swimming quickly.

“Old Tom, let go of the rope!” Alexander was panicked. He knew these sharks were not easy to mess with. Sure enough, what he was worried about happened. After several collisions, the ship leaked. Seeing Alexander was about to be buried in the mouth of the shark, suddenly Old Tom rushed towards the shark. It bit the shark’s tail and kept his body constantly. Flip.

Taking advantage of this opportunity, the crew drove a small boat to salvage Alexander, ready to drive back. “We can’t ignore old Tom!” Alexander grabbed the harpoon and stabbed the shark fiercely, and the crew followed suit. A few minutes later, the shark sank to the bottom of the sea and swam away. Alexander checked the physical condition of old Tom. It was not badly injured, but it was struggling to tell Alexander that it was okay.

The next day, Alexander did not see old Tom in the bay. “Will old Tom die from his injuries?” Alexander began to worry about old Tom. In the next few days, Alexander would drive a small boat into the bay. He looked at the calm sea, and his heart was inevitably sad. Suddenly, a familiar figure sprang out from under the water, “It’s old Tom, it’s still alive.” Like an old friend I haven’t seen for a long time, old Tom swims around Alexander’s boat, jumping out of the water from time to time. So that Alexander could touch its head.

The news of Old Tom’s rescue spread in Yatu Verde Bay. Many people made a special trip to see it. To the disappointment of those who came, no one was able to see Old Tom’s demeanor. But as soon as Alexander’s fishing boat goes out to sea, Old Tom will follow the orcas behind the boat. “Old Tom will only show up for me!” Alexander declared proudly that as long as he is alive, he will treat old Tom and his orcas well.

For the next thirty years, Alexander strictly kept his promise, even if he did not go fishing, he would drive a boat to throw fish feed for old Tom every few days. In 1924, when Alexander was getting older, he handed over the fishing business to his grandson George Davidson and told him that the profound friendship between himself and old Tom made him promise not to do anything to hurt old Tom in the future. George also met old Tom several times, and he liked it too, vowing that as long as he was there, he would abide by the “Tongue Rule.”

Tragic confession creates a legend
Compared with Alexander, George, born in 1903, is young, strong and brave. Unlike other baleen whale bosses upgrading their fishing equipment, he has been driving the fishing boat that Alexander purchased that year. Although he encountered many dangers, he saw Here, this ship witnessed the friendship between Grandpa and Old Tom, and he wanted to continue this friendship.

In 1960, a new group of Norwegian whalers moved into the harbor. Before long, George got news that the Norwegian whalers shot and killed several killer whales. George saw the carcasses of killer whales on the shore, and he was certain that these killer whales were members of Old Tom’s whale group. George contacted other whaling teams and demanded that the qualifications of Norwegian whalers be banned. Not knowing what benefits the Norwegians gave the government, they flatly rejected George’s request.

In this way, seeing the corpse of a killer whale on the shore became commonplace, and George was sad and helpless. Due to the over-hunting of killer whales, the number of killer whales that lived in the harbor before has decreased sharply, and George saw less old Tom. Even if he did, Old Tom was alone, constantly beating the water with his fins, like Accuse the hunting of human beings.

With the killing of a large number of killer whales, George’s business went from bad to worse. The crew were all veterans who had followed him for many years. George couldn’t bear to dismiss them, so he could only sell part of the industry to pay the workers. George’s difficult workers saw it, and they found reasons to resign. In the end, only three old employees, including John Logan, were left.

On June 12, 1962, George and Logan and the other four went to sea. Considering that there was no one to take care of him, Logan took his daughter Vera. After going to sea, several people were excited to find that Old Tom was trailing behind the fishing boat and jumped from time to time. Play with Vera out of the water. After arriving at the predetermined sea area, Old Tom started “work”, and half an hour later, George found that he was driving a small right whale into the fishing net. When the right whale was completely in the net, George directed the workers to stabbing the whale to death. According to the “Tongue Rule”, everyone should wait until Tom finishes eating the right whale’s tongue before dragging the whale carcass back to the whaling station. But Logan saw that the dark sky was approaching and the storm was approaching, and he felt that he must return immediately. He said to George: “This may be the last whale caught in the entire whaling season. If you leave it to old Tom, you won’t have time to drag it back.”

George couldn’t bear it: “But what about old Tom?” John said, “Go to his old Tom.” The two finally made up their minds, dragged the carcass of the right whale and started the boat. The disappointed old Tom bit the prey without letting it go, but he couldn’t resist the power of the ship. During the scramble, several of his teeth broke.

Looking at the scene before her, Vera cried sadly. George’s conscience was touched suddenly. He hurriedly signaled Logan to stop the boat and told Old Tom to finish eating the whale’s tongue, but Old Tom dived into the water after a whisper. “God, what the hell did I do!” Regret hit George’s heart. He remembered his grandfather Alexander’s last words to take good care of Old Tom, and remembered how old Tom had followed the ship happily for countless times.

The heartbroken George became a seller and dismissed the workers. He shut himself in the room. He knew that without his teeth, Old Tom could not eat normally. More importantly, Old Tom’s wound would be infected and ulcerated and slowly died. With a glimmer of hope, George came to the bay with the little fish that Old Tom liked to eat. No matter how he called, he still didn’t see the shadow of Old Tom.

George knew that he would never see old Tom again, and what he had done had betrayed the trust and understanding reached with old Tom.

In this way, a year passed in a flash. George still insisted on trying his luck in the harbor every few days, but still did not see the shadow of old Tom.

On July 2, 1963, George went to sea again. Just when he had no hope, suddenly a huge black shadow appeared on the sea, and then a section of his back was exposed. “It’s old Tom, it’s old Tom!” After a while, the dark shadow approached George’s fishing boat, and then poked his head out. George couldn’t help his excitement anymore, he jumped into the sea and played with old Tom.

The news of Old Tom’s reappearing spread like wildfire, and George and the fishermen reached an unanimous decision that they would never hurt Old Tom in the future. However, just when everyone decided to get along with Old Tom, someone found Old Tom’s body on the shore three days later. Looking at Old Tom’s body, George was heartbroken. He suddenly realized that Old Tom did not forgive himself for the hurt he had done. The reason it appeared was to see himself again before death and relive the good memories of the past.

Sad George made a decision that was beyond everyone’s expectations. He was going to run out of his wealth to build a museum and preserve the remains of Old Tom. After peeling off old Tom’s fish a little bit, George saw the broken roots of its teeth, and he wept again.

In October 2020, the remains of old Tom were placed in the museum of Eden for future generations to visit, and this extraordinary human whale legend was also shown to future generations: in those years, humans and killer whales used to guard like friends A contract lasts for 60 years. But in the end, after all, human beings took the step of betrayal.

The story of the Davidson family and the old Tom of the killer whale gradually spread. Many people, including professional scholars, would not believe it, although many people have seen the teeth of the old Tom’s skeleton in the Eden Killer Whale Museum.

In 1910, someone used a film camera to record the hunting scene of killer whales in Yatuford Bay and humans, and it was shown in Sydney. Many people saw it. Unfortunately, this film has not survived to this day. As humans become more aware of killer whales, various studies related to killer whales are getting deeper and deeper, and various historical materials in Yatu Verde Bay are studied, the credibility of the story of the killer whale old Tom has become more Higher.

The old Tom skeleton of the killer whale kept in the Eden Killer Whale Museum can clearly see the missing part of the upper jaw on the right side, showing how intense the “tug of war” was at that time. It is also very possible that the old Tom of the killer whale was infected with his gums after falling teeth, which caused long-term eating difficulties, which eventually affected his health and led to death. In 2004, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation once again produced a documentary for the killer whale old Tom. Not only did it include many photos taken that year, but also many old people who had personal experience talked about it.

Then, under the gaze of humans, more killer whales in other waters and aquariums have shown that killer whales are fully capable of biting on ropes to tow small boats. Even in the wild, killer whales like to rip off the lips of large baleen whales and eat the whales. tongue. So the story of the killer whale old Tom gradually became true and clear.