Wally the Christmas Whale – Draft #1



Got up early on Christmas Eve and wrote this epic poem…

‘Twas the night before Christmas
When fish do their snoozing
Wally was still out 
Cavorting and boozing

Big Wally, they say was known 
For his magic, 
But not for his kindness
Folks thought it quite tragic

For as much as dear Wally 
Could light up the sea
With his sparkling smile 
And charmed repartee

Deeper inside he felt quite alone
And ironically left 
Those who loved him
At home

One Christmas Eve
He served up, perhaps,
The finest example
Of his moral lapse

While both of his children 
Lay snug in their reeds
With his wife wrapping presents
In shiny seaweeds,

Wally stood on the bar
He shouted out "Look at this!" 
Then tried to sing opera
But vomited ambergris  [NOTE: This is not autobiographical]

Nobody laughs 
When a whale pukes like that
It stinks like a dookie 
And lays you out flat

It's especially heinous 
When on Christmas Eve. 
It ruins the vibe. 
Folks just leave.

The sharks in particular 
Were irked by the sight
Of such great potential 
Who wouldn't do right.

A little known fact
about sharks, you see,
Is that while truly they are
The most feared in the sea

They also have quite 
A strong will to do good 
And are not known for patience
When they think YOU should

And indeed on that night 
They had hit their limit 
“Wally, they said 
Ye be changing this minute!”

They opened their jaws
And made several good points 
Right then and there 
Wally swore off these joints

"Ye be on the right track" 
They said with a sneer
"But the damage ye've done
Extends far from here

Not only have ye
Made a mess o' this ven-ya 
Ye've broken the hearts
Of those who depend’ya

Yer going right home
But the path ye be takin'
Is one that ensures 
No more lies ye be makin'"

And they started to swim
In Wally's direction
Slowly at first 
But enough to let set in

That if Wally strayed 
From what sharks were expecting
This might be his last
Christmas Eve for reflecting

Then they chased Wally out 
As they called from behind 
“Yer first stop is all those
To whom ye've been unkind”

Turns out this number 
Was millions and change
For whales, you know, 
Have quite a long range

And all 'long the way
He had left in his wake 
Fish disappointed 
And friends he'd forsake

"To each ye must give
A gift or two
That comes from a thought
That's not about you."

I'm doomed, thought Wally
I may have the speed 
But I've nothing worth giving 
That these fish would need

I cannot go on.
He slowed down his motion
And never it’s been 
So dark in the ocean. 

(The old timers say
Even tropical coral
Could see not a difference
Between gray and floral)

But as the sharks swam
Ever closer to Wally
He started to listen
His way through his folly

Distant at first
Came the sounds of kids' voices 
Whispering they loved him
In spite of his choices  

He also heard notes
Of genuine fearing. 
(Thankfully whales
Have impeccable hearing)

The sound overcame him
Resolve built within
And with each note of love
Felt more strength in his fin

Until wouldn't you know it
With sharks bearing down 
The joy he'd been missing
Was finally found

This time it was real
His mind was set free
All of the magic
Without tragedy

He gave a small wink
Then formed a slight smile
That shined in a way
That it hadn’t a while

Then BOOM! all the magic
He had from the start
Finally united
With the love in his heart

His smile, it grew until
It sparkled like day
It lit up the night
And showed him his way

Then off he departed
To make his grand rounds
To all of the oceans
And undersea towns

To each fish in the sea
He gave the small present
Of a word of pure kindness
With a smile luminescent

It felt quite contagious
Love swelled like the tide
As fish started feeling
What they’d lost inside

Then passed on their kindness
No matter how shy
To each fish or urchin
Who happened to drift by

Until the ocean had never
Felt happier to date. 
Then Wally swam home
For it was quite late

The kids were asleep
But not yet his wife
Who had clearly been crying
She feared for his life

I’ll be ok, he said
And held her up tight
It was hard to believe him
But something seemed right

For she felt in his spirit
A new effervescence
A hope that had dimmed
Now glowed in his presence.

As their day finally ended
While they all deeply slept
They’d wake to a future
Of promises kept.

Never again
Would Wally lose sight
Of the light that he found
On Christmas Eve night

And such was the joy
Wally felt from his ride
Every Christmas to come
No more would he hide

He’d wink at the sharks 
Then make grand rounds of kindness
With a smile so bright
You could see it through blindness

As for us lubbers
Who prefer to stay dry
They say if we see
Wally’s light flashing by

We’ll feel a joy
As strong as the sea
Maybe that’s true
But the comfort for me

Is just being reminded
That no matter what trench yer in
There's always a chance 
For Christmas redemp-ti-on

I also take comfort 
That though sharks see me as food, 
They also saved Christmas
And like to do good.


By Bryan Daisley

Written entirely on
December 24, 2023

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