"Hank The Lost Tugboat" is a story written by Greg Wetzel.
Story[edit | edit source]
Hank was working hard with Bonavista barge. They were replacing old bumpers. Foduck had already removed the old bumpers so the new ones could be put on quickly. As Hank was doing this, close by was Clayton the Container Harbour Crane. He was staring out into the distance, watching George, Emily, and Foduck approaching with a big container ship. "Wow! Look at all those containers," said Hank in surprise. The three "V" tugs brought the container ship to a gentle stop at Clayton's dock. Clayton then began his work. "What's the load you've brought for us today," he asked. "Meat, fresh produce, and other food-related things for the city." "I see. It's a shame we don't have proper warehouses for these sort of cargo. I wish we were had one specifically for food and other perishable items." "Then you're in luck," said Foduck proudly. "Preparations are being made to demolish the Disused Docks and build warehouses and docks for loading and unloading perishable items." By now Bonavista had finished placing the new bumpers onto the dock close by, and Hank slowly began to leave for the next dock. He later spotted Foduck on his safety patrol. "What did you think of how securely those new bumpers were placed," he asked excitedly. "Oh, it was done nicely Hank. Good job." And Foduck went on his way. Hank was a little disappointed. "I thought he would praise me. He usually does when the other tugs do a great job dealing with safety work." But Hank couldn't be upset for long; he and Theodore were to bring in a ship. He hurried on his way to Blandford Buoy.
What made things more exciting was that Hank was the tug in charge. "Prepare to turn," honked Hank on his horn. Theodore answered with one honk of his horn. "Turning." They moved around Willy's Island with no trouble at all. When they reached the ship's dock, Hank was very proud of himself. He usually was a tug in charge when he pulled ships by himself, but never when working with the others until now. "How did I do guiding us into the Harbour," he asked Theodore and Pearl. "You did fine," said Pearl. "Very great work when going round Willy's Island," said Theodore cheerfully. "You're getting very good at turning when pulling ships." Hank could forget Pearl's response. Theodore's was more cheerful and encouraging.
At "Story Telling Time" Hank told the others about his day's work. He was very proud of himself. The others were interested, but then George, a little bored, interrupted. "Sigrid, Rebecca, Bobby, Northumberland and myself brought up some more artifacts near 'Shipwreck Rock.'" "But I'm not finished talking about my day," protested Hank. "You can tell us more when George is finished," promised George. He then began to go into storytelling mode. "If they don't like what I do for the Harbour nor respect me," thought Hank angrily, "then I shall just go away." It wasn't until everybody was asleep that Hank left, and went to the Old Docks. He woke up one of the cranes, and after asking for lifting, the crane, assisted by another hoisted Hank out of the water and behind the old warehouse.
The next day at the "Morning Work Meeting" the tugs and Sigrid were surprised to find that Hank wasn't there. "Maybe he went to refill his tank," assumed George. "Or to visit with Rebecca or another one of his friends," assumed Foduck. Ten minutes passed before the meeting began, and by that time Hank had still not showed up. The Dispatcher was surprised. "Nevertheless, we shall get work done without Hank. I shall have Constance and Nautilus search for him." Then he gave out the first assignments for everyone. They all went their ways, with their worries of Hank at the back of their mind echoing their concern. George and Foduck brought a floating crane with a wrecking ball tot he Old Warehouse Docks. Pearl was on hand. "On my cue, swing," ordered Pearl. "Three...two...one...swing!" The crane released the wrecking, which flew across, and nailed the warehouse in a big BANG! The warehouse began to fall sideways. Behind it sat Hank, who got hit by all the rubble. The cranes were surprised. "Before you demolish another building, we have to tell you something." They explained that Hank was hiding behind the warehouse that was just demolished. "We tried to tell you, but you didn't listen, and now poor Hank is damaged." "Oh dear," sighed Pearl. "Dig him out at once!" So construction vehicles came, and once all the rubble was removed, they revealed that Hank was indeed hit by the rubble. His hull was damaged, along with popped bumpers, and a completely broken smokestack and horn. "Why were you hiding back here," demanded Foduck. "We were all worried about you." "Because nobody seemed to care about me," blurted out Hank. He told them all everything. "We're very sorry. We'll try our best to show how much we appreciate your work." "And if you ever feel any negative emotions again," added George, "please tell someone about them. We don't want you getting yourself into trouble like you did today."
So Hank was taken to the Repair Dock, and once he was repaired he got hoisted back intot he water. He is a much happier tugboat now. He still has his fair share of bad days, but he's more open about his feelings, which has made his friendships more meaningful than ever before.