George Helps the Ocean
The Harbor Master is at his office desk, working on a model ship. “Oh, hello!” he said cheerfully. “I’m working on a model ship. When I’m done, I’m going to show it to all my friends in the Big Harbor.” Then he goes back to work, not looking too pleased. “Or maybe not,” he saids doubtfully. “I do enjoy making others happy, but really I’m only making this model ship to impress my friends. Maybe I should just stop making it.” He thinks for a moment, then smiles. “I bet George can help me.” He walks over to the window.
George was working on the ocean, close to the Big Harbor, with Nautilus, the navy ship. It was George’s job that morning to work with him, helping any ships in trouble. “Let’s go a little further,” suggested Nautilus. George whistled in agreement.
They went a little further, round a corner, and there they saw it. A ship, who’s name was Jennifer, was stuck. Nautilus went toward her. “What happened?” he asked as he inspected the water for any oil leakage. “I accidently went too close to the coast,” said Jennifer sadly, “and my propeller got weeds tangled in it. I tried to stop, but my cargo didn’t help me.” Nautilus came back to George. “No oil leakage,” said Nautilus sternly. “You may procced.” George whistled and went towards Jennifer. He buttoned his strong towrope onto her, and slowly pulled her off the shore. With a splash she was back in the water. Next, George started to slowly pull her toward the harbor.
Foduck was inspecting docks to see if any needed repairs, when he saw George with Jennifer. Foduck knew that George had been working with Nautilus. He raced out to greet them. “What happened?” asked Foduck in wonder. “Stuck on the shore,” said George, “and got seaweed tangled in her propeller.” “Well, you are as good at keeping the ocean safe as I do with keeping the harbor safe,” said Foduck politely. Then Foduck floated back to work. As George and Jennifer moved through the harbor to Jennifer’s dock, George kept thinking about how impressed Foduck had been with him.
Early that evening George went with Nautilus again for the last patrol for the ocean before nighttime. Nautilus had his equipment on as usual. His radio was on as well as George’s. “Someone please help me!” called a voice. They both smiled. They knew that the voice belonged to Digby. “Where are you Digby?” asked Nautilus. “Near Shipwreck Rock,” he said. “On our way,” replied George.
When they found Digby they were surprised to see him just floating there. “What’s the trouble?” asked George, looking very confused. “I ran out of fuel,” explained Digby, “and I was hoping for someone to come and give me a tow to the Fuel Dock.” George smiled as he buttoned onto Digby.
At the Great Ocean Dock the other tugboats were in the middle of story-telling time. Theodore was in the middle of his story when George returned. “I was nearing the Naval Yard,” said Theodore, “when I realized that I hadn’t brought enough fuel.” All the tugboats were surprised. “What did you do?” asked Hank. “I delivered the fuel that Bobby had loaded, and then we went back to the Oil Refinery to get more.” “That’s wonderful,” said Emily, relieved. Then she turned to George. “What did you do today George?” she asked. George smiled. “I pulled ships and heavy barrages,” he said proudly, “but I also worked with Nautilus.” “Is that why you were late?” asked Foduck. “Yes. It was because Digby had ran out of fuel.” The tugs smiled. “Only Digby,” laughed Theodore. George looked and saw that Foduck was still smiling and seemed as impressed as he had been that morning.
The next day George, Foduck, and Emily were sent to take an oil-tanker, named Calvin, out of the harbor. Emily was the tug in charge. They arrived at Calbin’s dock at the Oil Refinery. “Morning Calvin,” said Emily cheerfully. “We’re taking out of the harbor today.” “I’m ready when you are,” said Calvin kindly. The tugs got into place. Emily was at the front, Foduck in the middle, and George at the back. With the blast of Emily’s whistle, they set off.
When they arrived at the harbor entrance, they whistled their goodbyes as Calvin left the harbor. “Good job,” exclaimed Emily cheerfully. “Good job,” complimented Foduck and George. George was surprised to find Foduck still smiling at him and seeming impressed with both Emily and him. “But I didn’t rescue anyone,” he thought.
After work he floated to a little cove where he thought about Foduck. “He seemd impressed when I rescued others on the ocean, and he was impressed with my hard work. But why would he be impressed with my hard work if I didn’t save anyone?” George knew it was nearing time for him to work with Nautilus. He raced to the harbor entrance.
He arrived just as Nautilus floated in. “Perfect timing,” said Nautilus. “Let’s go!” They floated off onto the ocean.
As they were patrolling along the coast, Nautilus could tell George was quiet. “What’s on your mind George?” asked Nautilus. “It’s Foduck,” said George. “He was impressed when I told him I rescued Digby and when he saw me with Jennifer. But he also seemed inpressed when I worked with him and Emily earlier today.” They floated there for a moment in silence. “George,” said Nautilus calmly, “Foduck likes you for being you. You don’t need to impress him. Or me. Or anyone.” George thought about this as they continued patrolling the shore. “You’re right,” he said at last. “And I would like to thank him for liking me.”
The next morning at the morning work meeting George spoke to the Dispatcher. “I’d like Foduck to come with Nautilus and me on Nautilus’ patrol, if that’s alright.” The Dispatcher thought for a moment. “It’s a fine idea,” he said cheerfully. Foduck smiled. And George knew that Foduck’s smile was the smile of joy.
We are back in the Harbor Master’s office. He’s sitting at his office desk. “You know,” he says thoughtfully, “I don’t need to make model ships to impress my friends. My friends like me for just the way I am. But I’ll still make model ships because I like making them. Thanks for visiting us here in the Big Harbor. We’ll see you all again next time!