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The Dispatcher’s Busy Day

We see the Harbor Master sitting at his desk, stamping papers. “Hello,” he saids cheerfully. “It’s a busy day in the Big Harbor. There’s been so many ships coming and going. Now, although it’s my job to tell them when to enter, the tugboats help me to get ships in and out of the harbor.” Then he thinks for a moment. “You know, the Dispatcher needed help from the tugs just the other day.”

It was a sunny morning. The tugboatas were lined up in front of the Dispatcher. It was time for the morning work meeting, when the Dispatcher gives them their jobs. The Dispatcher turned and faced the tugboats. He first turned to Foduck. “Foduck, you’ll be inspecting docks today,” said the Dipatcher. Foduck whistled twice. “George and Emily, you’ll help bring ships in and out of the harbor.” George and Emily whistled twice. “Hank, you’ll be helping Shediac.” Hank whistled cheerfully. “And Theodore, you’ll first collect garbage, since it’s garbage day. Then you’ll help Digby remove old cables, and finish your day with Rebecca.” Theodore whistled twice. “That is all!” declared the Dispatcher as he turned away from the tugboats, who were already leaving for work.

Emily and George arrived at a ship’s dock. The ship, whose name was Michelle, was already loaded. “I’ll be the tug in charge,” said Emily politely. But just as she was turning into position to be at the front, a crackle came over her radio. “A tugboat is needed to bring in a ship,” said Pearl urgently. Emily and George looked at each other. They hadn’t expected this to happen. They then looked at Michelle. “I’m on my way,” said Emily. She raced away. George got into position, buttoned onto Michelle, and slowly began to pull her to the harbor entrance.

George and Emily weren’t the only ones who felt a little stressed. Theodore was feeling stressed too. “Speed it up, will you?” demanded Guysbrough. “Can’t go fast in the harbor,” said Theodore firmly. “We only have one more stop, the Oil Refinery. Then we can get you unloaded at the Dump.” Guysbrough said nothing. But as Theodore went along, he began to think about his next job. “Digby will be waiting for me,” he thought. “And working with him will take the longest. I might be late to work with Rebecca.” He tried to smile, but it was tough with all those worries bouncing around in his head.

Foduck had finished his safety patrol. “All safe!” he declared. Then he went back to the Repair Dock for a rest. On the way he met Emily. She was looking tired. “Please help me,” she panted. Foduck whistled and buttoned onto the ship.

In no time the ship was at its dock. Foduck looked round and saw George struggling too. “Busy day in the harbor,” said Foduck worriedly. Foduck floated over to George. “Need any help?” he asked. “Please Foduck,” said George tiredly. “Emily and I can’t keep up with the ships.” Foduck was happy to help George bring his ship to the harbor entrance. But he was starting to feel stressed too. He’d have to split his time helping Emily and George.

Foduck waited for the next ship to arrive when Petra came up, looking serious. “Truro needs to be brought back to his dock at Ceilidh’s Cove,” she said sternly. “Petra, I can’t do that right now,” said Foduck kindly. “I must help my friends.” Petra frowned. “I’ll have to tell the Dispatcher about this,” she said, floating off to the Great Ocean Dock.

When she arrived Petra told the Dispatcher about Foduck. “Well, it has been busy today,” said the Dispatcher, looking around. He could see the tugboats struggling to keep up. “Oh dear!” he exclaimed. “No wonder why Foduck can’t take Truro back to Ceilidh’s Cove. This is my fault.” Petra now felt sorry too. “I’m sorry for thinking that Foduck was refusing to do work,” she said apologetically. She quickly left.

Hank had arrived at the Repair Dock with a new engine. He saw Truro up on the dry dock, looking sad. “No one’s come to take me home,” he said sadly. “I’ll take you home,” said Hank kindly. He tied Bonavista to a dock and Hank began to pull Truro back into the water. Once he was back in the water Hank started to pull him home.

At that same moment Theodore, Rebecca, and Shelburne had returned from their exploring. They’d found an old container from long ago. Theodore could see his friends needed help. “Can ypu please take the container back to your dock?” he asked Rebecca politely. “Of course I can,” said Rebecca. Shelburne loaded the container onto Rebecca. Then Theodore took Shelburne home.

On the way he met Hank and Truro. Hank was pleased to see Theodore. “Can you please finish my job?” he asked. “I just have one more delivery.” “I will,” said Theodore cheerfully. Hank whistled cheerfully. He was feeling less stress.

That evening the Dispatcher looked round the harbor. It had been a crazy day, but he could see that deliveries had been made, barrages moved, ships at their docks, and the tugboats returning home. “Well done,” praised the Dispatcher. “I’m sorry for making it a streesful day for all of you. I’ll make sure from now on I give you the proper jobs.” “You didn’t make it stressful,” said George softly. “You just needed help,” added Emily. The Dispatcher was silent. He thought about this. “You’re right,” he said finally. “And I thank you fr being helpful.” The tugboats whistled their cheers of congratulations. Then they went to their places at the dock, pulled their hats over their eyes, and went to sleep.

We are back in the Harbor Master’s office. He is hanggin up the phone. “You know, that story reminds me that its nice to let others help you.” He heards a crackle on the radio. He walks over to it. “Thanks for visiting us here tin the Big Harbor. We’ll see you all again next time!”

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