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Title: My Book of Ten Fishes

Author: Rosalie G. Mendel

Illustrator: Hazel Frazee

Release date: December 19, 2017 [eBook #56206]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Al Haines


Cover art
Cover art


My Book of
Ten Fishes


Rosalie G. Mendel

Author of Spark Series,
"My Book of Ten
Fishes," etc.


Whitman Publishing Co.
Racine, Wisconsin.

Copyright 1916


Do you know why I am called a "Star Fish?" It is because I am shaped like a star. I am the star of the sea.

My five large, thick arms point in different directions. On the end of each one is a red spot. Those are my eyes. My body is covered with little spine-like prickles. On the under side of my body, near the center, is my mouth.

My favorite foods are oysters and clams. When I want my dinner I bend my arms, or rays, to form a cup. I catch food with the hundreds of little suckers that are on the under side of my body.


Did you ever go fishing? Did you ever catch a Salmon? I doubt it. It takes a mighty sharp fisherman to catch me.

I am called "the king of the fresh water fish." I am the most valuable and delicate of all fish. My flavor is excellent and I have few troublesome bones.

My home is in the sea. But in the autumn of the year I leave it and travel to the river where I was born. There I deposit eggs in the shallow creeks. The eggs remain there until the next spring. Then they are hatched into baby salmons.


These children remain for two years in the river. Then, in the third spring, they seek the cool waters of the sea.

Often, on my journey from the sea to my birthplace, I come to roaring waterfalls. To reach the top of these is hard and dangerous. But I am never afraid. I curl my body so that my tail almost reaches my mouth. Then I give an upward spring. Sometimes I fail, but if I do I try again. Did you ever see a picture of a "salmon leap?"


You have eaten lobsters, haven't you? If not, I am sorry for you, because I am considered a very fine-tasting sea food.

When a lobster is brought to the dinner table it is a bright red. But when it swims in the ocean, before it is boiled, its shell is very dark, almost black.

Mother Nature furnished me with a hard shell made of lime. This protects my soft body from my enemies. This shell fits me as tightly as your Sunday kid glove fits you. When my body grows too large for it, I get ready for a new one. I hide myself from everyone. I stop eating and so get thinner. My body shrinks away from my shell. It splits and comes off. Then a new one at once begins to cover me. At first it is very soft, but it soon gets as hard as my other one. The old shell comes off in one piece. If you saw it lying on the sand you would think it a live lobster.

Snap! Snap! See my two pinchers! Look out or I might bite you! Snap! Snap!



I am a shark! I am called "the tiger of the ocean," because I am so large, strong and terrible. I eat human flesh.


I guess I am not very good to look at. They say my mouth has a horrible, mean expression. I am about thirty feet long!

I have six rows of strong, sharp-pointed teeth—sharper than any knife you ever had. I can raise or lower these as I wish.

Most fish, when they drop their eggs, forget all about them. But I love and take care of my young ones.


People say I am a quarrelsome creature. That is why cross persons are called "crabby." But I won't ever quarrel with you, little one.

I am a first cousin of the lobster. I have a soft body protected with a hard shell. When I grow too big I throw it off and then I get a new one, just like Mr. Lobster does.

I have five pairs of legs. Poor child, you have only one pair. I walk sideways. In walking I use the legs on one side of my body to push with and those on the other side to pull with. My short tail I carry folded under my body. See my two strong pairs of nippers! With these pinchers I defend myself from my enemies. I wouldn't hurt you, though.

Oysters and other small sea animals often attach themselves to my shell and stay there a long time.

Men catch us crabs in wicker pots that are sunk deep in the water. In each is placed some bait.

Are you a "crabby" little person? I hope not.



"That she blows! Thar she blows!" That is what the sailors cry when they see me spout air and water out of the holes in the top part of my head. Sometimes I spout water 60 or 70 feet high.

I am a Right or Greenland whale. I live in the cold north seas. Underneath my skin are layers of fat called "blubber," that keep my body warm. From this blubber men take large quantities of oil. It is very valuable. Some whales give as much as 300 barrels of oil. Just think of that!

When I want my dinner I just open my mouth and collect thousands of small fish. I have no real teeth, but in my upper jaw are fringed plates known as "whale-bones." Maybe your mamma has sent you to the store to buy whale-bone for her new dress.

My cousin, the sperm whale, lives in the warm part of the ocean. Your nice white candles are made from spermaceti. It is taken from the head of the sperm whale. He also gives you "ambergris," out of which fine perfume is made.

The dolphin and the porpoise are smaller whale-like animals. They are playful and affectionate.



Do you like oysters? I hope so. This is the oyster season. In the summer months, when I am busy laying eggs I am not good to eat. We lay about two million eggs each season. My children are full grown when they are three years old. You are little more than a baby at that age.


I am called "fashionable" because I am not cheap like herring. I am considered quite a dainty.

I have no head. I have no feet. I have no teeth. But I have a mouth. My house is a hard shell made of two valves joined together by a hinge.

Of course you know that pearls come from oysters. Often men risk their lives in diving to the bottom of the ocean to get these precious gems. Sharks are great enemies of the pearl divers. The mother of pearl is the lining of the pearl oyster shell. Have any of you little chaps knives with handles made of mother of pearl?

Oh! I am an exciting fish, I am! Good night. Don't dream about me!


We are called sardines because we are caught on the coast of a country called Sardinia.


We are considered beautiful, graceful little swimmers. Most of us are about three or four inches long. Our color is bright green above and silvery white below. We live in the deep sea and only come to the surface to lay our eggs.

Along the coasts where we are caught there are many sardine factories. There they can us.

Ask your mother to buy a box of sardines for supper tonight. Then tell her all you know about us.