A Shovel a Pail and a Whale

 Elsa and her sister Kamma just arrived at the beach. It was a beautiful summer day. There were a few white puffy clouds that scurried across the blue sky as if they were being chased by the wind. Sea gulls soared high above, gliding round and round in the gusty breeze. In the distance, big waves roared as they crashed onto the shore. The tide was out now and there were miles of flat sandy beach. Although it was a nice warm day, there were not many people on the beach, maybe because it was so windy. Elsa’s Mom and Dad laid out a blanket and large sun screen umbrella. Her Dad had to anchor it down securely as the wind kept wanting to take it for a ride up in the air. Then her Dad said, “Hey Elsa and Kamma, why don’t you grab your sand pails and shovels and go down to the water’s edge. Search for some nice shells and other things that may have got washed up onto the beach. Last night there was a wild wind and rain storm and you never know what you may find.” Elsa’s Mom then applied sunscreen to both Elsa and Kamma, put their sun hats on and sent them on their way.

Both girls ran down towards the water. Elsa’s Mom yelled, “Be back in a couple of hours for lunch.” They ran screaming through the big ponds of warm water that the tide left when it went out. Finally the girls got to the ocean and continued to run and dodge the big waves as they tumbled onto the shore. “Sheesh,” said Kamma, “The ocean sure has cold water.” Elsa replied, “It will feel warmer the more you walk in it.” The girls started to find colourful shells from oysters and clams. They also came across interesting pieces of seaweed and pieces of twisted driftwood. Soon their pails were full of beachcombing treasures. The girls then sat on the warm sand and began to build sand castles. They filled their pails with moist sand, flipped them upside down and made instant towers. Then they carved out holes inside the castle so that when the waves came in they would fill with sea water making little lakes and moats.


Kamma then noticed water squirt up from the sand a short distance away. She ran over to take a look. Again it squirted up and almost soaked her. She yelled to Elsa, “Hey Elsa, I found an ocean water fountain!” Kamma then leaned over and had a little drink. “Ugh! The water is warm and salty,” she said. Elsa ran over to take a look. “That’s not a drinking fountain Kamma, I am not sure what it is.”

Again water shot up from beneath the sand. Both girls started digging down anaround where the water was coming from. Elsa said, “Maybe it is a big clam or something.” They both continued to dig deep until suddenly Kamma’s shovel rubbed up against something that looked like a big fish. She yelled at Elsa. “Come here and take a look.” Elsa went over to where Kamma was digging and said, “Wow, that looks like a fin of a large fish or other sea creature.” Just then the fin waved back and forth all by its self. Both girls jumped back and watched.

 “Help me please,” said a quiet voice that seemed to come from under the sand. Both Elsa and Kamma immediately began digging deeper in the sand and seaweed around the moving fin. All of a sudden the whole fin was exposed and it rolled over and shook violently, shaking itself clean, covering the girls with sand and seaweed. Elsa screamed, “It’s a baby Beluga!” Kamma said, “What’s that?” “It is a baby whale,” said Elsa. Both girls ran and filled their pails with water and gently washed the whale clean of sand and seaweed. They knelt down beside the whale and gave it a little hug. image005 The whales little baby eyes opened and looked at Kamma and Elsa. Then its mouth slowly opened and it said, “Thank you for helping me. I got separated from my family last night out in the ocean during a big wind storm. I lost my way and got washed up onto this beach and buried with sand. I need to get back into the water soon as I am not feeling too good.” Elsa and Kamma immediately pulled the little whale up towards the ocean. It was heavy but the girls managed to get the whale back into shallow water and it started to splash around. “Oh, Thank you, thank you,” said the beluga. “I feel much better already. Now if I can just find my family.” Kamma said, “Where do you think your family might be?” The beluga said, “I am not sure, but I will have to swim up and down the coast to look for them. By the way, my name is Baby Beluga. My Mom and Dad just call me Babe.” Kamma said, “Well my name is Kamma and this is my sister Elsa. We would like to help you find your family.” Babe said, “Thank you, that would be great. If you push me out to deeper water you girls could jump on my back and we could go search for them. That way you will be higher up in the water and may see things that I couldn’t see.” Elsa said, ” Ok, but we will have to get our lifejackets on and go check with our parents first.” Babe said, “Fine, I will wait here in the nice cool water.”

Kamma and Elsa ran as fast as they could back to where their parents were. Elsa called, “Mom, Dad, we found a talking beluga whale that wants to take us for a ride to look for her family, can we go?” Elsa’s Mom said, “Elsa have you been out in the sun too long? There is no such thing as a talking whale and I don’t think it is possible to ride on one.” Then Elsa’s Dad said, “Let the girls have fun. If they want to go for a ride on an imaginary whale, let them go.” “Ok,” she said, “Then be back in an hour for lunch, bring your whale friend too if you want.” Elsa and Kamma grabbed their lifejackets and ran back down to the beach.

 They found Babe splashing and playing in the water. Elsa said, “Ok, we can go to help look for your family.” “Great” said Babe. Both Elsa and Kamma put on their lifejackets and got on the back of Babe. “Hang on tight girls, away we go,” said Babe.  Just like a power boat Babe took off across the ocean splashing through the waves until she found calmer water farther out from the shore. Elsa and Kamma were both smiling and getting soaking wet but they didn’t seem to mind. Babe then said, “Look for big fins sticking out of water, and that might be my family. I will check with some of my ocean friends to see if they may have seen them recently.”

Babe continued swimming up the coast line and then slowed and stopped by a big rock that was jutting out into the water. image007Babe said, “This is where Merlinda lives. She is a mermaid.” Babe called out, “Merlinda!, Merlinda!” Soon a beautiful mermaid came swimming out of the water and perched herself on top of the big rock. She said, “Oh, hello Babe. How are you today?” Babe said, “Not too good. I got separated from my family last night in the wind storm and got washed up on shore and buried in the sand.” “Oh, how terrible,” said Merlinda. “Who are your friends riding on your back?” Babe said, “Oh sorry, I forgot to introduce them. This is Elsa and her sister Kamma. They are the ones who rescued me and got me back in the water.” “Thanks for helping my friend, girls” said Merlinda. “No, sorry Babe. I have not seen your family around. Due to the big wind storm I have been mostly under my rock avoiding the big waves and flying driftwood. Good luck in your search.” Merlinda then swam back around the rock and out of sight.

“Well lets continue. I have another friend to check with,” said Babe. Soon they were underway again, surfing along the top of the ocean, bouncing up and down. Then Kamma saw something way out in the distance that looked like a bunch of fins in the water. She said, “Babe, look over there. Could that be your family?” Babe slowed down and took a look. ” No Kamma, those are a bunch of dolphins all swimming together, but thanks anyways. They do look similar to a pod of whales from a distance,” said Babe. They rounded a corner and headed into a little sheltered bay.

Slowly they drifted to an old abandoned wharf. Babe then said, “This is where Sunny the Starfish and Otis the Octopus live.” Before long, they could see deep in the water a big round object coming up to the surface. It had two big eyes and eight long curly arms. It was Otis. image009 “Hi Otis,” said Babe. “Hi Babe,” replied Otis. “Who are your friends?” “This is Elsa and Kamma. They rescued me this morning after that wind storm buried me in sand on a beach.” Otis said, “Lucky they rescued you, that was quite a bad storm for sure. What brings you this way?” Babe said, “Well, during the storm I got separated from my family and now I can’t find them.” Otis said, “Sorry to hear that. No, once the storm hit I went to the bottom of the ocean to get out of the wind, but I think maybe Sunny may have seen your family. He stayed above water clinging to the pier. I will go see if I can find him, just a minute.”

A couple of minutes passed. Babe mentioned while they were waiting that if they should ever meet Otis again, avoid shaking hands. She said that Otis is a very friendly octopus, but it takes so long to shake all his hands you sometimes forget what you were going to say. Otis likes to make sure when he meets people that each of his hands, all eight, get shaken equally. Elsa and Kamma had a little giggle and smiled. “We will keep that in mind,” said Elsa. Then there was a small splash under the wharf and a big beautiful golden starfish floated out into the sunlight.

“Hi Babe, Otis said you wanted to talk to me?”  “Oh hi Sunny, these are my friends Kamma and Elsa. They rescued me after I got washed onto a beach in the wind storm last night.” “Hi Kamma, hi Elsa, thanks for helping my friend Babe,” said Sunny. “Anyways Sunny, I got separated from my family last night and am trying to find them again,” said Babe. Sunny said, “Well early this morning I did see a pod of whales heading south along the coast and they seemed to be travelling pretty slow as if they were maybe looking for you?” “Oh thank you Sunny, we will head down that way right now,” said Babe.

Sunny then slowly swam away and attached himself to one of the big pier logs that go to the ocean floor. “Ok girls, lets head south and hopefully catch up with my family. Hold on tight again, away we go!” said Babe. Babe took off like a shot bounding and bouncing over the waves with salty surf spraying everywhere. “Yahoo!” screamed Elsa, “This is like being on a ride at the fair, and it is free.” Then Elsa spotted something out in the water with a big fin sticking out of the ocean. “Hey Babe, could that be part of your family?” said Elsa. Again, Babe slowed down and took a good look. Babe said, “Oh, that’s Uncle Chunkle. You are right. It is a whale but he does not travel with my family.”

After about 10 minutes of racing through the water Babe noticed another of her friends swimming beside her. She slowed down and stopped. “Oh, hi Babe,” said Dottie the Dolphin. Babe said, “Hi Dottie. These are my friends, Kamma and Elsa. They saved me after I got washed onto the beach last night.”  “Thank goodness they found you when they did,” said Dottie. Babe then said, “I got lost from my family and I am trying to find them. Have you seen them?” “No, sorry I haven’t, but maybe Sergio might have seen them.” said Dottie. “Who is Sergio?” asked Babe. “Sergio is my friend the Sea Gull. He flies high above the ocean and is able to see things for miles in all directions. If anyone could find your family, I bet he can,” said Dottie. “Could you find Sergio and ask him to help us please?” asked Babe.

image011 “There is Sergio now. I will wave with my tail for him to come down to talk to us,” said Dottie. Within minutes a large sea gull landed on the water next to Babe and floated over to talk to Dottie. Dottie explained the situation to Sergio and he said that he would be happy to help look for Babe’s family.

Sergio swam over to Babe and said, “Hello, my name is Sergio and I will try and locate your family for you. Dottie told me about all the problems you had during and after the wind storm. I understand these young girls rescued you from the sand too. Great job girls!” Then Kamma said, “I am Kamma and this is my sister Elsa. I sure hope you can find Babe’s family.” “I will do my best,” said Sergio. “Oh Sergio” said Elsa, “I thought I should tell you that I have been noticing a trail of bubbly white foam on the water for the last few miles heading south. Then it looked like the trail turned due west. Could this possibly be made by a large group of whales?” Sergio replied, “Thanks Elsa, yes it might be a good lead to follow. When I get airborne I will follow that trail west and see what I find.” Then with a loud squawk Sergio extended his wings and he was gone high up into the blue sky.

Then Babe sighed, “There is not much more we can do now but wait.”  Dottie said, “I must continue on my way. Good bye and good luck.” Dottie swam away in amongst the waves and out of sight. About half an hour later Sergio was seen flying high overhead and then dove directly down and landed just in front of Babe. “I found them, I found them! Elsa was right! That foam trail heading west was made by your family. Follow me and I will take you to them,” said Sergio. Babe was very excited and said, “Oh THANK YOU! Lead the way!”

Sergio flew about 10 feet above the water so Babe could easily follow him. In about 15 minutes Babe saw her family. There were 5 large whales and 3 other smaller ones. When they saw Babe they immediately jumped up and down, dove into the water and shot huge fountains of water up in the air from their air spouts. It was raining salt water all over the place, but no one cared as Babe was finally re united with her family. Babe swam over and hugged her mother and father, but was careful not to squish Elsa and Kamma. Babe explained what had happened and how Elsa and Kamma rescued her from the sand. All the whales made a loud whooping sound as if to say Thank You to the girls. Babe said, “Thanks so much Elsa and Kamma for everything.” Babe and her family all swam together towards where the abandoned wharf was, so Elsa and Kamma could get off and go back to their own family.

The water was deeper there and the whales would not get stuck on the bottom when they came close to shore. Babe swam up near where Sunny was clinging to the pier. The girls jumped off Babe and onto the wharf. Babe turned around and sat right up in the water and let out a big spray of water and a weird snort sound and she was away. image013 Elsa and Kamma looked out onto the ocean and all they could see were all the whales together fading off into the distance. Elsa then said, “Wow, it is late. We better run back to Mom and Dad for lunch.” Both girls ran fast along the beach and back to where their parents were waiting.

Elsa’s mom said, “You are a little late. We were beginning to worry where you were. Hope you had fun with your imaginary whale friend. Wash your hands, take your life jackets off and help yourself to some good sandwiches.” Just then Elsa’s Dad yelled, “WOW! LOOK! A WHOLE BUNCH OF WHALES!

I bet you girls have never seen anything like that before! What a sight! I better take a picture. Now look! They are all spouting out water high up in the air and with the sun shining through its forming a Big Red Heart in the sky! image015 Boy that is so weird. Who would they be sending that too?” Elsa and Kamma just smiled, hugged each other and had a bite of their cream cheese and cucumber sandwich.


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