Narwhals are whales that live in the arctic ocean. Male Narwhals have a long tusk, which is really a tooth. It can grow as long as nine feet. For hundreds of years people wondered about the Narwhals’ tusks. Did they fight with it? Did they use it to break through ice? Perhaps. In addition to its use as a weapon or tool, scientists today think that it is an unusual sensory organ. They think the Narwhal can sense the level of salt in surrounding water. They think Narwhals may use their tusks to predict coming weather by waving the tusks in the air. When they do so they sense temperature and barometric pressure changes.

If you save postage stamps you may be interested in these Narwhal stamps issued by Canada.

This one issued in 2000 Or this one issued in 1968

When I visited the Cloisters Museum in New York I learned that dishonest sailors once sold the tusks of Narwhals pretending that they were Magic unicorn horns. That’s where I got the idea for my story, The Narwhal’s Tusk.

The Narwhal’s Tusk is a fairy tale and has many of the elements found in fairy tales. It has magic, castles, noblemen, imaginary animals and the number 3. Three is a special number in fairy tales. Think of all the stories that have 3 sisters or brothers, three wishes or three tasks for a hero to perform. As you read The Narwhal’s Tusk see how many examples of the number 3 you can find.

Click here for "Your Magic Object" an activity you can download for free to use is your classroom.
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