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Hank and the Lonely Fishing Boat

The Harbor Master had just walked into his office. “Hello,” he said kindly as he sat down on his desk chair. He then began to frown. “Oh,” he sighed, “today I saw my friend Rodney with someone. It looked as though they were having fun. Maybe Rodney has new friends.” Then he thinks for a moment. “I think Hank would know what to do,” he said.

It was a bright summer day in the Big Harbor. Hank was replacing old bumpers with new ones. Bonavista was helping him out. They approached a dock. “Morning Hank,” said Fundy. “Wonderful day for fishing.” “It certainly is!” said Hank cheerfully. Then Fundy moved out of his dock so Hank could put new bumpers on the dock. “thanks for the new bumpers,” called Fundy as he left for the ocean. Hank whistled back. It felt good doing something for his friend.

After work Hank was on his way to the harbor entrance to meet a cargo ship. Theodore was there. He’d taken a ship to the entrance and was about to go to his next job. “Theodore! Theodore!” shouted Hank. “Want to race me?” “But I have work to do,” said Theodore. “Just a quick one,” said Hank. “Well, okay,” replied Theodore. They were positioned side-by-side. “First one to Bedford is the winner,” said Hank. Theodore blew his whistle three times, and they were off. At that moment Fundy was returning to the harbor. He watched Hank and Theodore racing. He floated there.

Theodore was in the lead, but Hank caught up, overtook him, and won. “I’m the winner!” he declared. “Good job,” said Theodore cheerfully. “Now I need to move Barrington.” “And I need to see if that ship has arrived,” said hank. When Fundy heard this he continued onhis way to his dock. “It looks like Hank was having a lot of fun with Theodore,” he thought.

The next day the tugboats were all lined up in front of the Dispatcher for the morning work meeting. “Before you leave, I have an announcement to make,” said the Dispatcher. The tugs all stopped. “Queen Stephinie is coming this afternoon, so all work must be done early.” The tugboats all blew their whistles twice to say “Yes Sir!”

Hank’s job that morning was to move Bobby barrage. On the way he met Fundy. “Hi Fundy!” called Hank. Fundy whistled a cheerful greeting back. Hank smiled all the way to Bobby’s dock. “Morning Bobby,” said Hank cheerfully. “Today I’ll be moving you.” “Alright Hank,” said Bobby. Hank attached his tow rope and they set off.

Hank was taking Bobby, who was loaded with bricks, to the other side of the harbor. “Queen Stephinie’s coming today,” said Hank as they went along. “Oh, it must be nice to bring in important ships,” said Bobby. “It sure is!” said Hank excitedly. “And I bet it’s nice to carry all sorts of cargo.” Bobby smiled. He just loved his job as a barrage. “Indeed.” As they went along, Hank asked Bobby about his recent jobs. Hank hadn’t worked with Boby for a few days. While they were talking, Fundy was passing by. He whistled to Hank. But Hank had been listening to bobby, so he didn’t heard the whistle. But Fundy heard Hank and Bobby cheerfully talking. “Maybe Hank has friends that he likes more than me,” said Fundy sadly.

That afternoon the tugboats were being sprayed by Foduck’s hose, so they could be cleaned up. “It’s your turn Hank,” said Foduck. Hank moved into position. Foduck aimed and sprayed his cold water on Hank. “It feels great in this hot weather,” sighed Hank. “You’re all done Hank,” said Foduck kindly. “Emily, you’re next.” Emily whistled and hank moved out of the way for her.

The tugboats were waiting at the harbor entrance for the queen. At last they saw it. “There she is!” shouted Emily. “She looks magnificent,” said George. Queen Stephinie stopped. The tugboats blew their whistles three times. “Welcome back to our harbor,” said Foduck politely. “I’m very pleased to have returned,” said Queen Stephinie kindly. Foduck then turned to the others. The Dispatcher had asked him to be the tug in charge. “Theodore and Hank to the back, and George and Emily on the sides,” he said cheerfully. They all got into place. They whistled to let Foduck know they were ready. “Let’s go,” sad Foduck.

Early that evening Fundy was on his way home. He saw Hank and Emily. He raced to catch up to them. “Hey Hank! Can we go back to my dock and tell stories?” “Not now Fundy,” said Hank. “I’m going with Emily to Sandy Beach. We’re going to look for things on the beach.” “Oh, maybe another time,” sighed Fundy. He turned and headed for home.

Emily and Hank were looking along the beach for things. “Seen anything?” asked Hank. “Not yet,” said Emily. She was still thinking about what had happened when Hank and Fundy had spoken. “Hank, have you been with Fundy?” asked Emily. “Not recently,” said Hank. “I’ve only seen him when I replace bumpers.” “I think Fundy feels lonely,” said Emily softly. “But why?” “Because you haven’t spent time with him,” said Emily. Then Hank felt worried. “Maybe he thinks I’m not his friend,” he thought sadly.

That evening Hank went to see Fundy. Fundy was floating sadly at his dock. “Hey Fundy!” said Hank cheerfully. But Hank didn’t see a smile on Fundy’s face. “What’s wrong?” “No one wants to be with me,” said Fundy sadly. “That’s not true,” said Hank kindly. “It’s just that, I have more friends.” “And you play with them more too.” “But that doesn’t mean I’m not your friend,” said Hank gently. “No matter how much more or less time I spend with my friends, I’m always friends with them.” Fundy was silent for a moment. “Do you want to know what happened today while I was fishing?” he asked. “Yes please!” said Hank cheerfully. So Fundy began to tell him about how he’d caught some seaweed, and had thought it was a giant fish. Hank laughed. Then Hank told Fundy about moving Queen Stephinie. As Hank told his story, Fundy was thinking. “Hank and I are friends, no matter how much time we sped together,” he thought. And just thinking that, made him smile.

We return to the Harbor Master, who’s still a little upset. “You know, that story has me thinking about Rodney. He might play with others, but just because we don’t play together much doesn’t mean we’re not friends.” He thinks for a moment. Then he has an idea. He grabs the telephone. “I’ll call him and see if he’d like to play his bagpipes with me. Thanks for visiting us in the Big Harbor. We’ll see you all again next time!”

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