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DRAMA: The Classics

Moby Dick - The Chase

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Cast In Order Of Appearance:

Narrator
Ahab
Daggo
Tashtego
Starbuck
Ishmael
Fedallah
Moby
Everyone
Stubb
Flask

NARRATOR

One day, a green as the hills Massachusetts guy named Ishmael decides he wants to be a sailor. He pals up with a heavily tattooed heathen harpooner named Queequeg and they both get hired to work on a ship called the Pequod. Rumor has it that the Pequod was originally named the Pequot until the Connecticut tribe threatened to sue Melville for Intellectual Property violation, so he changed the name of the ship to the Pequod and the Pequots had to settle for opening casinos instead.

The captain of the Pequod – not to be confused with a Peak Wad, a rolled upper after corner of a fore-and-aft sail which could be used as a pillow in a pinch – anyway, the captain's name is Ahab.

He's a spooky kind of a guy with a wooden leg who likes to have a Parsee with him wherever he goes – not to be confused with parsley, which is edible, or the Parcae, spelled p-a-r-c-a-e , who were The Fates in Roman mythology, or per se which is of, in or by itself or oneself.

Well, anyway, the long and short of it is that Ahab only wants to find the Great White Whale who ate his leg – Moby Dick. He convinces the crew to let him do this and then the crew gets drunk and shouts and sings a bunch of sailor songs. Yaarrr!

So, they sail all over the place – the South Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and into the Japanese Sea. They meet another ship, the Enderby, whose captain has just lost an arm to Moby Dick. With Moby Dick up an arm and a leg in the game you'd think Ahab would give up. But Ahab gets all excited thinking he’s getting closer to Moby Dick and promptly sails to the Pacific Ocean.

The crew is getting a bit tired of this but Ahab apparently has the charisma to make them stay the course. Then a typhoon hits. We suspect this is just for dramatic effect. After the winds die down the Pequod meets a ship called the Rachel and a post-tempestuous relationship ensues with the captain of the Rachel leaving very disappointed in Ahab.

Moby Dick is sighted and hence the chase begins. And so we come to Moby Dick - The Chase - First Day.

AHAB

It's stanky up here. I smell a whale. Change course so we can get closer to the smell. Daggoo, get everyone on deck to look for the White Whale.

DAGGOO

Aye, aye Captain Ahab. Here, let me help hoist you up to the top of the main royal mast-head.

AHAB

There she blows! There she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It's Moby Dick. How come none of you nincompoops saw him?

TASHTEGO

I, Tashtego, one of your harpooners, saw him and I cried out.

AHAB

But I still beat you to it. Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah. Look, Moby Dick is going to sound. First mate Starbuck, lower three boats for the chase. But you stay on board.

STARBUCK

Aw shucks, I never get to have any fun.

AHAB

Be dumb, man! Stand by the braces! Hard down the helm! Brace up! Shiver her! Shiver her! So; well that! Boats! Boats!

STARBUCK

Huh?

AHAB

Just hurry up and lower the boats.

STARBUCK

Oh, okay. Don't forget to take Fedallah, your Oriental Parsee harpooner.

AHAB

Right! Quick, you guys, get these boats closer to Moby Dick.

ISHMAEL

Wow! What a beautiful white whale.

AHAB

Can it, Ishmael. I say he's evil and therefore he must die. Besides, if you think I'm ugly with my scarred face and one and a third legs, you should see Moby Dick's jaw.

TASHTEGO

Yeah, it's as deformed as they come.

ISHMAEL

Look! He's diving once more!

AHAB

Sounding, Ishmael. The term is sounding, not diving.

ISHMAEL

But they mean the same thing. One's just esoteric nautical jargon.

AHAB

True. Anyway, we'll have to wait an hour for him to surface again.

TASHTEGO

The birds! The birds!

AHAB

Hey, this is Melville, not Hitchcock.

TASHTEGO

No, there really is a bunch of white birds.

ISHMAEL

And they're surrounding your boat.

AHAB

Uh, oh. I don't like the looks of this. I'd better peer over the side. Good grief, Moby Dick is coming up from below and he's got his mouth wide open. I'd better move the boat out of the way. Fedallah, you Oriental Parsee, switch places with me so I can harpoon him.

FEDALLAH

Hai. Ee-yoosh.

MOBY

Those knuckleheads. They think they can spin their little boat and get away? Ha! I, Moby Dick, am gonna eat their boat.

AHAB

Oh great. Now half the boat is in Moby Dick's jaws. And talk about bad breath.

FEDALLAH

Yikes! He's bitten the boat in two!

EVERYONE

Run for it!

AHAB

Uh, crew? We're on the ocean, remember?

EVERYONE

Swim for it!

MOBY

Ptooh! Yuck, what are they making these boats out of? Wood?

ISHMAEL

What the heck is the whale doing?

FEDALLAH

A pirouette?

ISHMAEL

And now he's circling us.

MOBY

If I do this fast enough, I'll be able to flush them down into the ocean.

AHAB

I feel like I'm desperately trying to stay afloat in a giant toilet.

MOBY

Bingo, buster. Oh shoot. Here comes their ship, the Pequod, to spoil the fun. Oh well, I might as well swim away. I've had my fun for the day.

AHAB

Thank goodness I'm still alive and so are all five of my men. Even my lucky harpoon didn't get lost. On with the chase!

ISHMAEL

We're pooped. Let's go back to the ship instead.

AHAB

Okay. I'll just pace the deck while we chase Moby Dick with the Pequod.

STARBUCK

Just look at your boat, Captain Ahab, it's a mess! This is not a good sign.

AHAB

Starbuck, you are the most pessimistic guy I know. Now, go away and let me pace the night away in peace.

NARRATOR

Yes, and there you have it – the first fun- filled day of chasing Moby Dick. Let's recap:

• Ahab sees Moby.
• Three harpoon boats go to chase Moby.
• Ahab's boat is surrounded by white birds.
• Moby bites Ahab's harpoon boat in two and overturns the other two harpoon boats.
• Everyone has to swim back to the Pequod.

Ahab is glad he still has his lucky harpoon. Although, having already lost a leg, you have to wonder what his definition of luck is. And then he decides to pace the deck all night instead of getting a good night's sleep.

We now move on to Moby Dick - The Chase - Second Day.

AHAB

D'ye see him?

EVERYONE

No, Captain Ahab.

AHAB

Criminy. It's a good thing I know how to track a whale 'cause you people are useless as scouts. Turn here and go faster.

EVERYONE

Aye, aye, Captain.

STUBB

Watch it, Moby Dick! You can't escape! The mad fiend Ahab is after you!

EVERYONE

We're gonna get you! We're gonna get you!

AHAB

Stubb?

STUBB

Yessir?

AHAB

Stop yelling over the railing. You're giving me the willies.

STUBB

Aye, aye, Captain.

EVERYONE

There she blows!

AHAB

There she breaches!

EVERYONE

Huh?

AHAB

Breaches. Leaps from the water.

EVERYONE

Oh.

AHAB

Lower the boats! Mr. Starbuck, stay on the ship and keep away from the boats, but keep near them.

STARBUCK

Aw shucks, I never get to have any fun and now I'm confused.

MOBY

Oh boy, the silly sailors want to come out and play again with me, Moby Dick.

STUBB

Oh my gosh, he's coming straight for all three of our boats!

AHAB

Fear not. I'll harpoon him head on!

ISHMAEL

We'll all throw our harpoons at once!

MOBY

Rats! Now I am all tangled up in these ropes attached to their harpoons. Oh well, I'll just pay a merry little visit to Ahab's boat since it's the closest.

AHAB

Yikes! I'd better cut some harpoon lines or Moby Dick will tow me away!

STUBB

Oh, no! The other two boats have smashed together!

MOBY

And now I'm gonna flip Ahab's boat into the air! Yippee!

AHAB

Oh poop, I'm all wet again - just like yesterday. And my fake leg got snapped off too. The ship's carpenter is going to be really pissed at me.

MOBY

Well, I think I'll go swim away again. There's no sport in eating floating sailors and something's itching on my side.

STARBUCK

Look at the mess this time, Captain Ahab. Not only does your ship, the Pequod, have to pick up all you sailors, but we have to try and rescue all the debris. We're running out of harpoons and boats.

AHAB

Calm down, Mr. Starbuck. You sound upset. Where's Fedallah?

STUBB

Oh, he got tangled up in your lines and disappeared with the whale.

STARBUCK

Oh please, oh please stop chasing Moby Dick! He's making fools of us all, and now Fedallah's gone, and there's a million little pieces to repair, and today he even ate your fake leg the same way he ate your real leg when you first met him and -

AHAB

Starbuck?

STARBUCK

Yes, Captain?

AHAB

Go take a nap. It's getting late.

STARBUCK

Okay.

AHAB

Now, some time ago Fedallah told me that he'd die before me, but I would see him again before I died. But if he's gone to the bottom of the ocean, how will that happen?

EVERYONE

Hmmm.

NARRATOR

Hmmm, indeed. Let's recap the second day:

• Ahab again spots Moby and proceeds with three harpoon boats to catch him.
• Everyone throws their harpoons at once leading to a big tangle of ropes, boats and Moby.
• Then Moby starts towing Ahab’s harpoon boat while the other two harpoon boats are smashed together.
• Ahab cuts his harpoon lines just in time to escape as Moby flips his harpoon boat and snaps his wooden leg off.
• Moby swims away.
• Ahab and the harpooners swim back to the Pequod.
• Starbuck complains about the mess.
• Everyone thinks Fedallah is dead.

And now we move on to the dramatic conclusion with Moby Dick - The Chase - Third Day.

AHAB

What a lovely day again. D'ye see him?

EVERYONE

No.

AHAB

Follow his wake.

STARBUCK

His wake, sir?

AHAB

His turbulence path in the water, Mr. Starbuck. Am I the only one who's ever been on a ship before? Now go away, I have to have a talk with myself that will take over a page in the book.

STARBUCK

Are you done, Captain Ahab?

AHAB

Almost. To it! Aloft there! What d'ye see?

EVERYONE

Nothing.

AHAB

What? It's almost noon. Sway me up to the top of the main mast-head.

AHAB

Darn, we've oversailed him. Moby Dick's chasing me now. About! About! Man the braces!

EVERYONE

What?

AHAB

Turn the ship around.

EVERYONE

Oh.

STARBUCK

Well, this seems like a brilliant idea. Turn the ship around and head for a giant whale's mouth. Hello God, I'm saying my prayers now.

AHAB

There she blows! Forehead to forehead I meet thee, this third time, Moby Dick! On deck there! Brace sharper up! Crowd her into the wind's eye! Stand over the helmsman with the top-maul!

EVERYONE

Huh?

AHAB

Point the ship at the whale and go faster, okay?

EVERYONE

Okay.

AHAB

And while you're doing that I think I'll sit up here and reminisce about the sea, Nantucket and my youth. Hey, there's moss growing in this mast-head! Here we are, myself and this mast, growing old together. And what did Fedallah, the Oriental Parsee, say? That I'd see him before I died and that hemp was the only thing that could kill me? But he's at the bottom of the ocean and we've been sailing from the spot where he sank since last night. Oh well, good-bye mast-head. We'll talk again tomorrow when I have Moby Dick dead on the deck of the Pequod.

STARBUCK

Sir, are you done talking to an inanimate object?

AHAB

Sure. Lower me down and lower the boats while you're at it. Oh, and Starbuck?

STARBUCK

Yes, Captain Ahab?

AHAB

Shake my hand. There's only eight more pages in this book and I think I might die.

STARBUCK

Oh, my captain, my captain! Please don't go!

AHAB

You stay on board, Mr. Starbuck.

STARBUCK

Aw shucks, I never get to have any fun and all this tension is making me cry!

EVERYONE

The sharks! The sharks!

STARBUCK

Gee, a whole bunch of sharks are biting the oars of Captain Ahab's boat and they're not bothering the other two boats at all. That man just cannot take a hint! And now I'm having doomsday visions, I'm shuddering, I feel faint, and a sea-hawk just ripped the red flag off our main-mast and is flying off with it!

AHAB

Golly, from here it looks like Mr. Starbuck is a bit upset. Anyway, Moby Dick has just sounded. I'll just sit here and wait for him to surface again and will someone please shut these snapping sharks up?

MOBY

Well, well, well, it seems that these people simply can't get enough of me, Moby Dick. I guess I'll have to surface and teach them another lesson. Take that!

And that!

And that!

AHAB

Hey! The White Whale has bashed in the front end of the other two boats but left mine alone. And yuck! Fedallah's half-torn body is lashed to Moby Dick's side. I guess Fedallah was right. I am seeing him again. You guys take your boats and head back to the ship.

STUBB

We'll repair them if we can and then return.

AHAB

That's nice to hear, Stubb. But if you can't, I don't mind dying alone.

EVERYONE

Alone?

AHAB

Quiet, crew of my boat. Keep rowing.

EVERYONE

The sharks!

AHAB

Oh, whack ‘em with what's left of the oars.

MOBY

This party's getting boring. It's time to bag these clowns.

STARBUCK

Look, Captain Ahab! Moby Dick is swimming away! You see! He doesn't seek you! It's you who seeks him! It's not too late to stop this madness!

AHAB

Can it, Starbuck. I'm gonna get that whale. You follow me with the Pequod, but don't follow too closely. And tell Tashtego, the harpooner, to hammer up another flag on the main-mast-head; it looks naked without one.

MOBY

Gosh, I'm tired. Why don't they just leave me alone? Maybe if I pretend to ignore them -

AHAB

This is it! I'm going to sink my lucky harpoon into this whale and curse him at the same time!

MOBY

Oh, how original. Take that!

AHAB

Oh sure. Knock three of my boat crew into the water, why don't you, and one of them is now floating away. Oh well, put the other two back on board and hang-on to that rope tied to my harpoon.

EVERYONE

It snapped!

MOBY

That's it! I've tried to be nice and swim away, but no - you have to keep pushing the issue. Okay, step back, Jack, I'm gunnin' for the Pequod now!

EVERYONE

The whale! The ship!

AHAB

Oars! Oars!

STARBUCK

Really, sir. There's no need to be crude.

AHAB

Darn! Now my boat has also caved-in from Moby Dick's thrashings and we are only able to sit here in the water and watch while the White Whale swims onward to sink my ship.

STARBUCK

Oh, what a mess this is! And to think that all my life I've been faithful and prayed on a daily basis. This is unfair! I mean really, to be smited by a whale that I'm not even in favor of chasing.

STUBB

You? I say, Mr. Starbuck, I, Stubb, am a bit dismayed that I will die without the taste of some fresh fruit in my mouth. A cherry, perhaps?

FLASK

A cherry? How selfish! I, Flask, only wish that my poor mother has gotten my part- pay by now. Otherwise she's gonna be poor, poor, poor.

MOBY

Oh, boo-hoo, you idiots should have thought about this before. I'm gonna smite the Pequod's starboard bow!

EVERYONE

Oh, no! We're sinking!

AHAB

Darn this whale! I'm going to harpoon him again! Rats! The line is stuck. I'll fix it. Oops, the line's caught me about the neck and I'm a dead man!

STUBB

Ahab's boat is sinking.

EVERYONE

What more can happen?

TASHTEGO

It is I, Tashtego, who says that all three of us harpooners will each stay at the top of a mast as the Pequod sinks from sight. Not only that, but I will nail a passing sea-hawk – who's being a real pest, I must say – to the main-mast. And as we sink, I will keep my arm and hammer raised to the end.

EVERYONE

Talk about poetic justice and an enduring visual!

TASHTEGO

Yeah, and a great plug for a cooking and cleaning product. I could start a company, but I have to drown instead.

ISHMAEL

Well, at least I, Ishmael, get to survive and tell the tale even though a great deal of it is in third person. Go figure. I was the one who floated away the last time Moby Dick flipped Ahab's boat. And it was a piece of the debris from the Pequod that kept me afloat until another ship picked me up a day later. And, no matter what some PHD English professor in the Cliff Notes tries to tell you, the only reason why my character survives is because without me surviving - there would be no one to tell the story in first person. Full stop. Plain and simple. Nyah!

©1997-2015 Lishka DeVoss/Kranky Kids®

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