Pushy the Tug Boat

By Judith Lawrenson


Pushy the Hawaiian Tug Boat


Once upon a time there was a tugboat with a suntan. Yes, that’s really true. This tugboat did his pushing and tugging in the Hawaiian Islands. If you are not quite sure where that is, look it up on a map.  Hawaii is a series of volcanic islands and is a state in the United States of America.


The tugboat’s name was Pushy but not because he was rude, He was called Pushy because he was the strongest tugboat in all of the Islands. He got his name when the school children in Honolulu, the capital of the Hawaiian Islands, had a contest to choose the name for the newest tugboat. A little Hawaiian boy named Kimo thought of the name Pushy and he won the contest. After that all of the school children kind of adopted Pushy and loved to come down to the ocean after school and on weekends to watch him work and give his happy little toot toot sound as he chugged around the harbor.

 Pusht Picture  Click on picture to enlarge

You know, boys and girls, that it is not polite to push someone else around, but that was his JOB!  It was a very special job too. The ships that he pushed and guided through the islands and into harbors were sometimes massive. He pushed cruise ships that carried thousands of people, have swimming pools, movie theaters, dining rooms, and even water slides. Those ships are so big that they seem almost like islands just by themselves. They are too big to drive around all alone too.


They cannot turn or park without help. Pushy the tugboat guided them all around narrow waters and led them into their berths so that their passengers could come ashore to see the beautiful islands and sights of Hawaii. He was so tiny compared to these huge ships that he looked like a little fly next to them, but he was so strong he could make them go through narrow openings and park them right against the docks.

Tugboat 02


He also guided container ships and barges into berths so that they could unload their cargo. When he saw the white clouds of smoke billowing out of the giant smokestacks of these monster ships, he knew what was ahead for him. He pushed, shoved, tugged and guided them right up to their exact spot on the pier and gave a little smoke puff of his own a couple of loud toots to go along with it!


Right near the big boat docks, there was a very beautiful resort hotel. Often the guests who were sitting on the beach would watch as Pushy cheerfully chugged also making the much bigger ships go exactly where he wanted them to go. Children from the town also came to watch the amazing sight. They were very proud of him because even though he seemed as small as a little leaf on a big tree he was stronger and more powerful that any of the ships that came up to the harbor entry.


The children knew that these ships couldn’t enter the harbor, navigate around the islands, or find their place at the dock unless their little tugboat guided them. They often called to him saying things like:


“Me first, me first,” bellowed the container barge puffing out big ugly clouds of black smoke.


“Look out, Pushy. I think you are going too fast,” cried the beautiful new cruise ship.


But the sounds Pushy liked best were the sounds of the children. They called:

“Oh, look, mom. That little tugboat is pushing that great big ship right up against the pier. How do you think he does it?”

Pushy 03 

“Come on Pushy, you can do it. We know you can!”


“Pushy you did it again-right in place just like parking a car.”



The End


Wait a minute-how can that be the end of the story? Nothing happened. Pushy did not do anything or save anybody or have an adventure. How can the story just end?  Well, boys and girls, this is YOUR job. I told you that Pushy had a job, and now so do you.  This is what is called an interactive story. You have to make up an adventure for Pushy and think of the ending.


  Maybe I will give you some suggestions:


1.  Pushy the Tugboat and the Bad-Mannered Barge


2.  Pushy the Tugboat Meets Harry the Hobie Cat


3.  Pushy Saves the Day


4.  Pushy Wins Again



OK, now it is your turn.  Let me know what you write by sending story endings to our web site www.readroom.com and I look forward to reading what you write.



Click on Link for more Pushy activities


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               June 24, 2013