I was asked introduce Literature to a group of children ages 5 and 6. This is pretty much a condensed and easily understandable version of this story.
The year is 1866 and ships all over the world are being damaged by a mysterious creature. Scientists believe it to be a giant Narwhal. This creature is reported to be quite fast; impossible to catch, and impossible to destroy. So, Captain Farragut decided to put that theory to the test. He outfitted the fastest ship in the American fleet, The Abraham Lincoln, with the most powerful weaponry possible, and employed the service of an expert whaler, Ned Land, to go forth and destroy the monster that terrorized the oceans.
But Ned Land was not the only individual invited to participate in the expedition. Monsieur Pierre Aronnax, a professor of Marine Biology and expert on creatures of the ocean depths, along with his faithful servant, Conseil, was asked to attend the expedition to chronicle the possible discovery of a new species of marine life.
Four months passed, without any sighting of the mysterious creature. The 'Abraham Lincoln' scoured every nautical mile between New York and Japan without any luck. Then, on the night of November 5, Ned Land, who was standing watch, shouted that he could see the creature. The 'Abraham Lincoln' attacked. But its cannonballs only bounced off the creatures hide. Ned Land attempted to spear the creature with a harpoon, with the same result. Suddenly, the creature turned to attack, and rammed the ship. Ned Land and Professor Aronnax fell overboard, while Conseil jumped in to rescue his master. All attempted to swim back to the ship, but it was too far away and could not assist them. They spent a restless night, taking turns sleeping and trying to...