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Hank and the missing ship

One morning the tugboats were at the morning work meeting. The Dispatcher was giving out jobs. “And George, you’ll be helping to bring ships into the harbour.” George whistled twice. The tugs set off, except for Hank. “Hank, you have a special job. You’re to work at the Junk Yard. You see, its getting a little too full. You’re to take scrap to a village called Old Buzz.” “Where’s that?” asked Hank. “Pearl will explain more when you get there,” said the Dispatcher. Hank tooted twice and sailed away.

Pearl was waiting for Hank. “Old Buzz is 50 miles away,” said Pearl. “Does this need to be done today?” asked Hank. “No,” laughed Pearl, “you just have to start today.” She sailed away to the Cargo and Ship Yard. Hank buttoned onto an old barge and set off for the ocean. George waited at the entrance as Hank left. He watched him jealously. “I wish I had Hank’s job,” he said.

When Hank arrived at Old Buzz all he saw were cranes, and trucks. It wasn’t as busy as he’d thought it would be. “Are you Hank?” asked a crane. “Yes,” said Hank. “Who are you?” “I’m Sammy,” replied the crane. Sammy could Hank looked puzzled. “What’s wrong?” “Well, I thought it’d be busier,” said Hank slowly. “It used to be that way years ago,” sighed Sammy. “Just recently our tugboats went away. The Big Harbour is the only harbour that helps us now.” Hank tied his barge to the dock. “So you help the Big Harbour then?” he said. “Oh yes,” said Sammy cheerfully. “Whatever the Big Harbour doesn’t have we have. And vise-versa.” Hank smiled. He whistled to Sammy as he left. “I’ll be back,” called Hank.

That night he told the others about Sammy and Old Buzz Village. “I’m glad we can help Old Buzz,” said Theodore. “I’d like to go there,” said Foduck thoughtfully. George was getting even more jealous. “I’ve got to find a way to go there,” he thought. “But how?”

He didn’t have to wait long. The next morning during the work meeting the Dispatcher spoke to Hank. “There’s an oil tanker that’s waiting at the Oil Refinery. You must take her to Old Buzz right away.” Hank whistled twice. Then the tugs went off to work. George thought for a moment. “An oil tanker,” he thought. He smiled. He knew this was his chance.

When he arrived at the Oil Refinery Hank was no where to be seen. But the ship was there. “Where’s Hank?” asked the ship, who’s name was Caleb. “He’s doing another job,” said George as he buttoned on. “I’m helping him.” “That’s very kind,” said Caleb. George whistled and pulled away with the ship. Moments after he’d gone Hank arrived at the Oil Refinery. But the ship wasn’t there. “Where could it be?” he thought. Then a microphone shot out of the window. “Goerge has taken the oil tanker,” said the manager. “George?” said Hank, confused. “But I was to take that ship.”

George arrived at the village. Sammy spotted him. “You’re not Hank,” he said surprised. “I’m George,” said George. “I’m helping Hank.” With that George docked the ship and left for home. Soon Hank arrived with more scrap. “Who was that tugboat who took that oil tanker here?” asked Sammy. “George,” said Hank sadly.

When George returned to the Big Harbour Pearl was waiting for him. “Where have you been?” she asked sternly. “You were supposed to move Linda. Foduck had to do it for you.” George now felt foolish for what he’d done. He told Pearl where he’d been. “I’ll have to report this to the Dispatcher,” she said.

When the Dispatcher heard about this he called over the radio for George. When George arrived he knew he was in trouble. “Why did you do Hank’s job?” asked the Dispatcher. “Because I was jealous,” said George. “I wanted to see Old Buzz Village.” “George, you’ll get your chance to go there,” said the Dispatcher kindly. “But you should be happy for Hank. He deserved the job.” George thought about this for a long time. Then: “Indeed he does,” he said.

That night when the tugs were at the Great Ocean Dock George spoke to Hank. “Sorry for taking your job,” he apologized. “I’m proud you got the job.” “Thanks George,” said Hank politely. “What do you think though?” “About what?” “The village!” laughed Hank. George smiled. He knew Hank wasn’t angry with him, and he began telling Hank about what he thought about it.

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