It may sound like a whale of a tale, but an 8-year-old San Rafael girl who was struck by an arrow outside a life-size whale structure outside the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley is telling the truth.
Nadine Hairston-Millington was hit by an arrow while playing the popular structure on Tuesday during a school field trip. The arrow lodged in her leg and required hospital doctors to remove the 20-inch cross bow.
"It hurt, it hurt a lot so I started crying a little," the third grader told NBC Bay Area on Wednesday. "I stopped when my teacher came over."
Rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, Nadine said she sang Taylor Swift songs to stay calm: "My teacher put Taylor Swift songs on and we both sang the words together since she is my favorite singer."
It's not quite clear how the arrow struck the girl, or who did it.
Police Capt. Stephen Roderick told Bay City News earlier this week that investigators are trying to reconstruct the arrow's trajectory, a difficult task when "an arrow can travel 500 to 1,000 yards."
Police said it did not appear that the shooting was connected to any science or math experiments at the center.
Nadine's mom, Alicia Hairston, said that the entire ordeal has been bizarre and scary, but in the end, her daughter is now home and it could have been worse.
"I feel lucky it hit where it hit, didn't hit an artery, muscle, a vein. It could have been much worse," she said. Hairston says doctors are expecting a complete recovery.
Nadine doesn't seem bothered by the incident at all. In fact, she thinks by catching the arrow, she may have done something kind for the statue: "I saved a whale," she said proudly.