It was a cold and windy day on the boat but little Artie was having a great day. He had gone fishing with his daddy and some friends. He had never gone on such a big boat so far from the shore but his daddy had told him everything would be all right. He trusted his daddy and knew that he would keep him safe from any harm, so he decided to just sit back and have some fun.
Artie took his fishing pole (the special one his daddy had given him for his birthday) and instead of using the yucky fishing bait everyone else was using, he decided to try something special. He pulled out his lunchbox and saw some cheesedoodles. He thought of how much he loved the taste of the crunchy, cheesy snack and decided that the fish would like it too. He placed the biggest, cheesiest, crunchiest cheese doodle fromt he bag on the end of his hook and slowly lowered it over the side of the boat. He just knew it would lure the best fish in the ocean.
It wasnít any time at all before he felt the fishing pole pulling ever so slightly in his hands. He gave it a little tug and pulled in the line. To his surprise it wasnít a small fish at the end of his fishing pole. Instead, right there before him he saw the most beautiful, blue dolphin he had ever seen. As he lowered it into the boat he heard "pssst, hey you". Artie looked around to see who could be calling him but everyone was at the other end of the boat busy fishing themselves. Again he heard it " pssst, hey you". This time he looked down at the dolphin in utter shock. " Did you just speak to me?", Artie asked the dolphin.
With that simple question from Artie the dolphin knew he had found a very special boy (as only the best and brightest of children could hear the dolphin speak). He then spoke up clearly and told him that he was called "Artimus and could he please have the hook removed from his mouth so he could speak more freely". Artie immediately removed the hook and said how sorry he was to have hooked him. Artimus replied "Do not worry, I wasnít hurt. In fact, when I saw that cheese doodle dangling from the hook I knew I just had to be sure to get caught on it."
Artie didnít understand why the dolphin would want to get caught so he asked him. Artimus replied " When I saw the golden cheese doodle dangling from the hook I knew that whoever put it there must be special to give up such a gorgeous, crispy, huge cheese doodle and I just had to meet that person. When you heard me speak I knew I was right. You are very special and I want to be your friend. Will you be my friend too?" It didnít take Artie long to say "Of course. And you can always share my cheese doodles with me as well."
With their friendship made, Artimus said he had to be getting back to his family in the deep blue sea. But before he left Artimus made Artie a special promise Ė anytime that Artie was going to be out in the ocean he wanted him to call him so Artimus could take him for a ride in the seas. Artie asked how could he call him when he couldnít talk underwater. "Easy, just give a special whistle that only dolphins can hear. It is my special call and it will travel underwater to wherever I am. Within minutes I will be right by your side to be your friend." Artimus showed Artie how to call him with the special whistle and had Artie practice until he got it right. After all, he wanted to be sure they could see each other again. With that done, Artimus and Artie said good-bye as Artimus flew ever so gracefully off the side of the boat and back into his home in the seas.
Artie kept his adventure with Artimus as his special secret but he thought of his good friend the dolphin quite often. One day he asked his mom and dad to please take him to the ocean for the day so he could play. Of course, he really wanted to see his friend, Artimus. When they arrived at the beach Artie took off down the sand until he found a place where he could be alone. When he did, he cleared his throat and let loose the loudest whistle ever heard --- yes, it was the special whistle to call his friend. He wondered now if it would really work or was all of this just a dream he had.
It was only moments before he had his answer. Just seconds had passed when he heard a series of splashes and little yelps. Looking out into the water he saw the sun shining down off of the most beautiful blue fin he had ever seen and he knew then that it wasnít a dream, but it was his friend the dolphin. Artimus swam as close to the sand as he could and then Artie waded out to meet him. They hugged and then Artimus said he wanted to take Artie for a ride into the sea to see where he lived and played. "But how can I do this Artimus? I canít swim underwater for a very long time." Artimus just grinned and said to him "You believed in the magic and you can hear me talk, canít you? Well, just keep that faith in all that is good in the world and believe that you can do it and you will be able to do it. Just believe, Artie, just believe." Artie looked down at his beloved friend and smiled saying " Artimus I do believe." With those words, he grabbed onto the fin on Artimusí back and down they went.
What seemed like forever Artie and Artimus traveled the depths of the ocean floor exploring all of the wonders of Godís creation below sea. What an amazing sight it was to behold. Colors he had never dreamed of and all so bright. Sea creatures of ever kind imaginable Ė yet he was not afraid of any of them. He could swim with them all, talk with them all and never had need to go up for air. What an adventure it was but at last he realized he must go back up and find his family. With sadness in his heart he asked Artimus to take him home. The ride back was done in silence as both of the friends realized they would soon be parting company.
When they arrived up by the beach, they hugged and cried as they said their good-byes. Then out of the blue (with not a raindrop in sight) a huge rainbow appeared in the sky above them. Artie looked up at the rainbow and said to Artimus "Donít be sad anymore. Do you see that rainbow up in the sky. It reminds me that God is always with me and will always keep His promises to me. I think He gave us this rainbow so we could remember that friendship like ours will never die. Even if we donít see each other for a very long time, we will always be friends. And beside, arenít you just a whistle away?"
One final hug and then Artimus glided out into the sea. As the waters parted to let him enter, Artie waved his good-byes and ran off down the beach to find his mom and dad. What a wonderful adventure he had. Life is great when you just let yourself believe.
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