Howard the Dolphin

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One fine day, Howard the Dolphin was happily swimming in the warm blue waters near Galveston. Being a dolphin, he decided to swim to the harbor and check out what was going on. He navigated carefully through the other fish swimming in the water. Soon, the water began to taste funny. The closer he got to the harbor, the harder it was for him to see and the harder it was for him to breathe. The water was getting more shallow as he swam on. The surface had a thick film of oil and trash that mixed with the water as waves broke on the surface. The eerie silence was broken by the roar of a diesel engine. Howard looked up and saw the hull of a boat pass overhead, its propeller chopping violently through the cloudy waters, helping to mix more trash into the water.

After a few minutes of not being able to see past his nose, Howard decided to go up to the surface to see where he was. At the surface he instantly regretted ever traveling to the harbor. He looked left and right and saw no sandy beaches or empty shore line. All that surrounded him was rusty piers and wooden pylons supporting loading docks full of metal shipping containers. On one side of the harbor sat a large building with tall red smokestacks and railroad cars parked to the side. Huge pipes led from the building to the edge of the water. A cloud of white steam rose from the point that the pipes emptied into the harbor. Howard, being a clever dolphin, decided to get a closer look. He swam across the channel and felt his entire body start to sting. The closer Howard got to the building, the more his skin burned. He moved his fins faster to try to get there faster. The water changed gradually from a hazy green to a dull red, and the temperature changed from a comfortable warm to boiling hot. Howard couldn’t take the pollution of the water anymore, his vision became blurry after swimming in the chemicals. He swam blindly away from the red water, trying to escape to a clearer place.

Unknown to Howard, a cargo ship was slowly chugging through the middle of the harbor. The Massive ship was on a collision course with helpless Howard. At this point, Howard wished he never explored the terribly polluted harbor. Howard’s only priority was getting back to his friends. Again he heard the roar of a diesel engine, this time much louder. He couldn’t see in front of him, so he tried to get to the surface again to look around. His head met the hard barnacle encrusted hull of the massive ship. He realized where he was, but it was too late. Howard swam along the hull trying one last time to get away. He turned and saw the dull propellers whirling through the water, getting closer by the second. His dolphin body was no match for the steel teeth of the ship.


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