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Blue The Whale Who Dreamed Of Dancing
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E Jean Beres
In the deep, deep ocean, fish are swimming contentedly.
Some fish swim in cozy pairs, some fish are at peace swimming alone.
Some fish squiggle and wiggle in groups and some tiny fish hang on snugly to their bigger parents.
The deep, deep ocean is calm and quiet, well, almost!
Lily, the squid, delicately stretches her ten long tentacles, curling and twisting them around her head as she wakes up from a nap.
"Ohhh," she sighs, as she stretches again.
"Be quiet!" Eddie the eel whispers to her, "Blue is sleeping."
"Oh dear," Lily whispers back, covering her mouth with four of her tentacles.
"I hope Blue doesn't star dreaming," Willy, the ocean turtle, whispers as he quickly pulls his legs into his big shell. "I guess I better wait before I take my exercise walk."
Like a spring, Eddie the eel's body uncoils, sloshing the water.
"Shhh, be quiet!" Lily warns.
"Be quiet, be quiet, be quiet," the school of mackerel chant as they weave like a silent parade between and around Lily, Eddie and Willy.
"Will you guys please be quiet!" Eddie warns again, curling up like a corkscrew.
"Hey, hey, hey everybody, what's going on?" Sam the shark asks in his deep throaty voice splashing noisily around.
"Shhh!" all the others whisper. "Blue is sleeping!"
"Where, I don't see him?" Sam's deep, throaty voice vibrates through the water like a loud pair of cymbals.
"Over there, Sam," Lily whispers, pointing, and with another tentacle raps Sam on the nose.
Sam looks in the direction Lily is pointing.
Sure enough, there is Blue, all one hundred and fifty tons of him.
He was sound asleep, lying on his stomach on the cool ocean floor.
In spite of him being so big and powerful, there's an innocence about him, Sam thinks.
It must come from the kindness to others, his caring about all of us.
Yeah, that's it, Sam decides, and shifts his body around waiting with the others for Blue to wake up.
The school of mackerel glides towards Blue, they gently circle and dip around his head, barely making a ripple.
In the deep, deep ocean Blue, the biggest creature in the sea, is dreaming, he is dreaming that he is dancing. His huge body glides and slides, whirls and twirls through the water, he balances on his tail. Wow!
His bones feel as light as an ocean shell, he's wonderful!
Again he whirls and twirls glides and slides and balances on his tail, his fins swaying gently like a fan.
I'm dancing, I'm dancing, I'm dancing!
Lily, Eddie, Willy and Sam wait patiently for Blue to wake up.
Suddenly, Blue's tail begins to beat the sand on the ocean floor, his enormous fins tremble, his huge body quivers and rumbles.
"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear," cries Lily, folding her ten tentacles over her body looking like a ball.
The ocean water begins to swish and swirl like a tornado.
"Hold on to something everybody!" Eddie yells, curling his body into a tight spring.
"Oh no," Willy groans he pulls his head into his shell.
Suddenly, his shell shoots like a canon through the whirling water and disappears.
"Here we go again!" Sam shouts. "Who woke Blue up anyway?" he asks as the ocean floor begins to quake and shudder.
"Oh yeah, I remember, it's you mackerel again!" Sam shrieks, as all thirty-five feet of him smashes through the sandy water while the school of mackerel scatter like pieces of confetti.
Little creatures are sucked from the safety of their little homes in rocks, shells and crevices. The swirling water tosses and throws them in all directions. The fish fly through the churning water looking like misguided space ships.
Gradually, Blue's body winds down to a shutter or two. His huge muscles slump and his body relaxes, now he is lying still on the ocean floor.
The water begins to calm, the sand falling like thick foam scatters.
"Hey, is everybody okay?" Sams throaty voice erupts through the silence. "Hey, hey, hey, Lily, Eddie, Willy, where are you guys?"
There are several little squeaks, some loud snorts and lots of groans.
Lily stretches her tentacles and accidentally pokes Eddie in the eye.
"Ouch!" Eddie yells.
"Oh dear, sorry Eddie."
"That's okay, I can't see anything either."
Willy swims back as fast as he can and smacks into Sam.
"Oops, didn't see you, Sam."
"No problem, I guess everybody's okay."
Now, hundreds more fish roll past looking like bowling balls.
They bump into each other, slip and slide and slowly gain control.
"What as experience!" sighs Lily.
"I never get used to it," murmurs Willy.
In the deep, deep ocean, small creatures cautiously swim back to their houses looking quite annoyed as they shake their heads at Blue.
The school of mackerel regroups, hold steady and chant," Never get used to it, never get used to it, never get used to it."
Blue is starting to wake up and stretches his huge body causing wide ripples to slice through the ocean deep.
"Easy, big guy," Sam says.
Slowly, one eye opens and then the other eye. Blue looks around.
"I did it again. I'm sorry everybody, I just don't know how to stop dreaming about dancing."
"I think I know what you can do Blue," says Mrs. Crab as she waddles out from her home.
Baby crab follows his mother as she approaches Blue.
"You do?" Blue says.
"Certainly, I've been thinking about it for a long time."
"Tell me, what can I do?"
All the fish and creatures suddenly interested in what Mrs. Crab has to say, pay attention, hoping Mrs. Crab can solve the problem. Even the deep, deep ocean is still as if waiting for the answer.
"Well," begins Mrs. Crab, "you can make your dream a reality, we can teach you how to dance"
For a long moment no one says a word.
Lily is the first to speak, she flings out her ten tentacles with joy.
"That's a wonderful idea Mrs. Crab. Wonderful!"
Wow, that would solve Blues problem" Sam whispers to Eddie.
Eddie coils into a tight spring then squiggles apart.
"Yeh, and our problem too," he answered.
"No more crashes!" Willy yells out, lying on the ocean floor, his nose brushing against baby crab. Baby crab giggles and climbs up on Willys back.
"No more collisions," yells Eddie.
"No more bumps," baby crab says giggling. "Hooray!"
"Hooray, hooray, hooray!" the school of mackerel chant.
The news that Blue is going to learn to dance travels fast and far, north, south, east and west, through the deep, deep ocean.
Fish from all over the ocean soon hear the news, they gather together, in Blues territory, some in big groups, others in smaller groups, they are all excited and talking at once.
After a while a decision is made, they must all go and watch Blue learn to dance.
Why, they couldn't possibly miss the greatest event in history!
They gather their families, leave their homes and get organized to swim miles and miles to watch Blue learn to dance. The event soon becomes the biggest celebration in the whole ocean kingdom.
"What a festival it will be!" they sing.
"What a party!"
"What a jamboree!"
"What a triumph!"
"What a joke!" snickers Freddie the flat fish as he takes his time walking across the ocean floor. "Big blue will never learn to dance!" he shouts for all to hear as groups swim past him.
Soon he finds himself all alone, and lonely.
"Wait for me!" he calls to everybody.
Through the deep, deep ocean, all the fish from the north, south, east and west travel to where Blue lives. By the time they arrive at their destination, they are tired and weary.
"We made it!" they declared to each other finding places and spaces to rest.
Blue had awakened early this morning. He has decided to try and learn to dance, but when he sees so many friends that have come from all over the deep, deep ocean to watch him learn to dance, he is scared. What if he can't learn to dance, what if my friends laugh at me?
But the, Rick, the sting ray, reassures him.
"We all thought maybe you could use us Blue, to give you some moral support. We'd all like to help any way we can."
All the fish thumped their tails and slapped their fins in agreement.
"Thanks, Rick, I'm going to need all the help I can get."
"Plus the fact, well, this is the biggest event in ocean history, we couldn't miss it," adds Carrie the cod fish.
"I never thought of that," Blue says.
"After all Blue," Freddie the flat fish snickers, "You are the biggest creature in the ocean and whoever heard of a whale learning to dance!"
With that, Freddie the flat fish laughs hysterically.
"Oh, Freddie, shame on you!" Lily scolds.
"Lily's right Freddie, you should be encouraging Blue, not putting him down," Mrs., Crab says.
"You wouldn't want to be treated that way, would you, Freddie?" Lily asks.
"Okay, okay, I get it," Freddie snickered.
All the fish thump their tails and slap their fins in agreement.
"I get it, I get it, I get it," chant the school of Mackerel.
"Everybody please settle down," Mrs. Crab announces firmly taking charge.
"Settle down, settle down, settle down," the school of mackerel chant.
Mrs. Crab turns their way. "That means all of you as well."
The school of mackerel huddle and are quiet.
All the fish settle down and wait for Mrs. Crab's instructions.
"The first thing we must do is help Blue get his balance. Eddie, you and all our friends from the north ocean blue will lift Blue's tail. Will and all our friends from the south ocean blue will lift his chest. Sam and all our friends from the west ocean blue will divide up, half of you will help Lily and our friends from the east lift Blue's stomach, the others will help Sam lift his chest."
All the fish swam to their assigned positions.
"Blue, you have to help too, so you must lift your head and use your flippers to gain some balance."
"Okay," Blue answers nervously. "Gosh everybody, I hope this works."
"All right everybody, on the count of three I want you all to lift Blue.
Remember we want to help him get his balance first."
"Ready!" all the fish answer at once.
"One, two three, lift!"
There are grunts, groans, snorts, sighs, bellows and grinding teeth as all the fish lift, boost, heave and hoist up Blue.
"Everybody, don't let go!" Lily cries. "Remember some of us are under blue."
The fish lift then push with all their strength.
"We've got him a little tilt," yells Willy.
"I think it's more than a little," Eddie yells back.
"Oh oh!" the fish from the north cry out.
"We've got a problem!" the fish from the south all yell at once.
"Oh, no!" cry the fish from the east.
"Hey, hey, hey everybody, get out of the way fast!" Sam warns.
"Oh dear," Mrs. Crab sighs, grabbing baby crab and scuttling inside her rock house.
"Look out below!" all the fish yell at once.
Blue's huge body topples forward causing wave after wave to surge, flinging all the fish like run-away race cars, through the deep, deep ocean.
Everyone is tossed, flipped, pitched, rolled, thrown, flung and hurled through the churning, swirling water.
Blue crashes to the ocean floor sending a big sigh, like as erupting volcano, through his breathing hole. His sigh is so strong that it reaches the surface forming little bubbles that scatter across the water.
Blue closes his eyes.
"I can't do this, I can't, no way, I'm just going to have to face reality."
"You said a mouth full, pal, snickers Freddie the flat fish.
The fish manage to swim back and form a circle around Blue.
"I'm going to have to settle for dreaming about dancing," he tells them sadly.
"Nonsense!" snaps Mrs. Crab climbing up onto Blue's head. "Why, we all had to learn to whirl and twirl, Blue."
"You just have to keep trying," Lily says kindly, wrapping her tentacles gently around blue's head.
"Mrs. Crab is right and so is Lily," Carrie the cod fish says, swimming beside Lily.
"We didn't come all this way to see you give up!" Rick the sting ray says.
"Come on, give the guy a break," Freddie mutters. "Let Blue have his dream."
Lily smacked Freddie on top of his head.
"Dreams can come true, Freddie," she tells him.
"I'm sorry everybody, but I don't think I can learn to dance. I'm sorry. Thanks anyway."
"Oh yes you can," Baby crab says looking into Blue's big eye.
"I'm too clumsy and I know it."
"To tell the truth, I was pretty clumsy at first Blue, but look at me now!" Sam the shark twirls and whirls gracefully through the water barely making a ripple.
All the fish thump their tails and slap their fins against their sides in approval.
"Mommy taught me how to dance Blue. Watch me, okay?" Baby crab slides off Blue's head.
He floats for a few moments then gently wiggles and jiggles in the calm water.
"That's very good," Blue says smiling at baby crab. "But..."
"Please try again, please, please," Baby crab begs,
Blue looks around at all his friends. They want him to succeed, I have to try again, for them, he thinks. "Okay, I guess I'll try again."
"Excellent!" Mrs. Crab says, adding, "Everybody take your positions!" She swims close to Blue's big eye and says, "Let us do the work Blue, just relax your body, lift your head and work those flippers."
"Okay," blue answers trying not to sound doubtful.
"Mrs. Crab positions herself so she can see every angle. "We're ready everybody! One, two, three lift!" she orders.
"Lift! Lift! Lift! Chant the school of mackerel.
Blue closes his eyes and lifts his head and works his flippers.
All the fish strain to lift Blue. His huge body rises slowly, looking like a mountain suddenly forming out of the ocean floor.
Again Blue feels himself teetering, then tottering.
"Think about balance Blue," orders Mrs. Crab. "No, no keep him up!"
But it is no use. Blue feels himself swaying and then falling forward.
"Look out!" Willy the turtle cries, his short legs paddling furiously away.
"We can't hold him!" Sam the shark yells.
"He's tottering!" Eddie the eel cries out.
"He's swaying!" Lily the octopus cries.
"What you all mean is Blue is falling!" Eddie the flat fish laughs hysterically.
Blue buckles forward and crumbles to the ocean floor.
"Look out everybody!" Rick the sting ray zips away as fast as he can.
"Oh dear," sighs Mrs. Crab grabbing baby crab and hurrying to their rock house.
Everyone is tossed, flipped, pitched, rolled, thrown, flung and hurled through the churning swirling water.
Several sucker fish cling to Blue's head. "Wow!" one of them yells, "that was some ride!"
Finally the water calms.
A gigantic undertow pulls all the fish back to Blue. They bounce off his body like shooting stars in orbit, slowly settling around him. They are exhausted.
"I'll never learn to dance," Blue mutters to himself.
Mrs. Crab overhears him. "You know what your problem is Blue, you don't have any faith in yourself."
"Mrs. Crab is right Blue, after all, this was just your second try," Lily tells him kindly.
"And your balance lasted a little longer," encourages Eddie.
"It did?" Blue asks.
"Eddie's right," Sam adds. "I noticed that too."
"You just have to keep trying," baby crab says.
"And keep trying," Lily adds.
"Have faith in yourself, too," Eddie coils up like a corkscrew and springs apart like a live firecracker, wrapping his body around Willy.
"Problem solved," Willy says, pushing Eddie off his shell.
"And practice makes perfect," adds Mrs. Crab. "You can do it, Blue."
"You really think so?"
"I really think so, and I believe all your friends will agree with me."
"Yes!" all the fish answer, slapping their fins against their sides and thumping their tails.
"I will try again!" Blue says confidently. "Thanks everybody. You really encouraged me."
"You've got what it takes." Same pats Blue's fin with his tail.
"You know, I think I felt a little rhythm in those big bones of yours this last time." Eddie coils into a spring and snaps his body out straight in front of Blues big eyes.
"That's a fact," offers Willy. "I felt it too."
"Honestly?" asks Blue.
"It's the truth Blue, I could feel it too." Lily waves her tentacles like a cheer leader.
"Wonderful!" Mrs. Crab laughs.
"Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful," the school of mackerel chant.
"All right, gather around everybody!" orders Mrs. Crab happily.
"Round three, pal," Freddie the flat fish whispers to Blue. "This is for the knock out! Ha, ha, ha." He laughs loudly and rolls around the ocean floor.
"Better be careful Freddie, someone might fall on you," Lily whispers in his ear.
Freddie looks up at Blue who is staring down at him.
"I was just joking, pal, okay?"
"That's a lie," Lily says poking Freddie.
"Okay, I said it, but I really didn't mean it."
"Lie number two," Lily says poking Freddie again.
"Let's go, everyone. Concentrate Blue," Mrs. Crab instructs. "Ready?"
Blue nods his big head sending ocean sand whirling.
"Don't do that! Take control Blue!" orders Mrs. Crab.
The sand settles.
"Sorry, I'm just a little bit anxious and nervous."
"You'll do just fine. Everybody take your positions."
All the fish get organized and take their places.
"One, two, three! Lift! Lift! Lift! Easy as he goes. Steady! Steady now. That's it! Now hold your head up, Blue. Take control of your balance. Lift some more everybody! Lift! Lift!"
There are grunts, toots, groans, moans, sighs, bellows and grinding teeth as all the fish and creatures in the deep, deep ocean lift Blue.
Blue's huge body is straighter this time. His head lifts higher, his tail on its tip.
"Yes, that's it! Good! That's it Blue!" Mrs. Crab sings happily.
Then slowly, Blue leans and begins to topple forward like a huge falling tree in a forest.
"Look out!" everyone cries. "Here we go again!"
"You should be getting used to it," snickers Flatfish swimming away as fast as he can
"Inside Baby," calls Mrs. Crab as she and baby crab scuttle into their rock house.
But Blue doesn't hit the ocean floor. He stops himself and swims powerfully to the surface for a breath of fresh air. All his friends gently flop, plop, tumble and topple about gently, then swim about waiting.
Soon Blue descends.
All watch quietly, marveling at his great beauty and strength. The biggest creature in the deep, deep, ocean, the most gentle of friends.
"Had to get a breath," Blue explains smiling.
"We understand," says Lily, patting Blue. "You did real good, Blue. I'm so proud of you."
"Yes, you did very well indeed," says Mrs. Crab.
"We all thought for a while you were going to stay up," says Eddie.
"You looked ready to dance, Blue," chimed in Sam.
"I did?" Blue feels a calmness slowly fill him. I looked ready to dance?
He wonders happily, I should try again, I could try again, I will try again!
My friends are trying hard to help me and I won't let them down. Blue's calm feelings turn into determination and courage.
"I'm ready to try again," Blue tells them.
"Try again, try again, try again," the school of mackerel chant sliding across Blue's big head.
"Hooray!" all the fish yell.
"Can't give it up! Won't give it up!" the fish chant.
"Try, try, try again!"
"Practice makes perfect!"
"Hooray for Blue!"
"Wonderful!" beams Mrs. Crab.
The deep, deep ocean is filled with thumping tails and slapping fins.
"All right everybody, man your stations!" orders Mrs. Crab.
Quickly all the fish take their assigned places around Blue. For the first time they see their big friend smiling, they can feel his eagerness.
And this time, in their hearts, they know Blue is going to make it, he's going to dance.
They are filled with more energy than they have ever felt before.
"Ready?" calls out Mrs. Crab.
"Ready!" all the fish answer.
"Lift! Lift! Lift!"
They get Blue up, his huge tail is pointed down, and his head lifts proudly.
"Work those flippers!" Mrs. Crab instructs. "That's it Blue, tail down, head up!"
"That's it! That's it! That's it! Chant the mackerel circling Blue's head.
"Now, let Blue go!" Mrs. Crab calls out. "Let Blue go!"
All the fish let Blue go. They swim a good distance away and watch, sure enough, Blue has found his balance.
Suddenly his flippers and tail take on a smooth sliding movement, a rhythm, they'd never seen before. No one can take their eyes off Blue. There is a grace in their friend's movements that they'd never seen before, nor could they duplicate.
Blue tries a small pivot, he did it!
He tries a spin, it Worked!
He turns into a spiral.
It's wonderful, just like in his dream, he thinks, only this time he isn't dreaming, this is for real. He's dancing!
"Will you look at that!" Eddie whispers.
"He's amazing!" Lily whispers back.
Blue does a few flips and tries several spins.
"He's magnificent!" Sam says.
"Unbelievable!" Willy says.
"He's dancing," Mrs. Crab says, wiping a tear from her eye.
"Blue is dancing," everyone murmurs.
They are in awe as they watch their big friend dance.
Blue, the biggest creature in the deep, deep, ocean has finally learned to dance. Soon all the fish and creatures dance along with him and the deep, deep, ocean is filled with joyful spins, twirls, spirals and flips.
"Who would have thought," Freddie the flat fish says shaking his head. "Well, I might as well join the crowd."
"No one dances like you Blue," baby crab tells him perched on his big head.
"No one?" asks Blue smiling.
"No, no one," baby crab answers.
All afternoon Blue and all the fish dance, then suddenly Blue stops.
Seeing this all the fish and creatures stop dancing too and look at Blue.
"What's wrong Blue" Eddie asks.
"What is it Blue?" asks Sam.
"Did you hear that?" Blue says.
"I didn't hear anything," answers Eddie.
"What's Blue talking about?" wonders Willy.
"Shhh, listen," repeats Blue.
"Be quiet everybody," says Mrs. Crab.
There is a deep, yet soft rumbling sound that spreads over them
"Look!" Blue says softly.
All the fish, from north, south, east and west, look in the direction Blue is looking.
Slowly, quietly, a shadow emerges. Through the deep, deep, ocean a beautiful female whale comes into sight.
"Hello," she says to them. "May I join you?"
"Wow!" Sam whispers.
"She's lovely," Lily whispers back.
"I'll say," Eddie smiles.
"Beautiful," joins in Mrs. Crab.
"Why sure you can, right Blue? Sure you can join us," Willy says excitedly.
"I saw you dancing," she says, her eyes never leaving Blue.
"You did?" asks Blue nervously.
"I love to dance, too," she tells him.
"You do?" Blue asks, suddenly not being able to take his eyes off her.
"My name is Happy," she tells him.
"My name is Blue."
And the dancing in the deep, deep, ocean went on and on and on...
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