Dolphins seem to love people and the ships people sail in.
Often, when they see a ship coming, they like to leap out of the
water to greet it.
Sailors are very fond of dolphins too. Usually ,they are very careful not to hurt them. They consider it bad luck to kill a dolphin.
About a hundred years ago, there was a narrow passage of water off the coast of New Zealand. It was called French Pass. The sailors used it as a short cut, but it was a very dangerous one. Its waters were tricky and its bottom was filled with jaggered rocks.
One stormy morning, a ship called the Bridle started going throught the passage. Suddenly, a blue-grey dolphin popped its head out of the water. It began jumping up infront of the ship as if to welcome it.
The dolphin started to lead the way throught the dangerous channel and the ship followed it. Finnaly, the ship arrived saftely on the other side. The happy sailors aboard the Bridle felt the dolphin had helped them. They called the friendly, useful dolphin "Perolus Jack."
After that, for over 30 years, Jack showed up and led every large ship that came along through the passage. Every sailor on the ship came to know "Jack" by sight. And they all tusted him to lead them through the waters of French Pass.
Then, one day in 1903, a drunken passenger aboard the ship the Penguin, fired a shot at Jack. The bulletstruck the dolphin, and he disappeared below the water. The crew of the ship wanted to lynch the man who had shot Jack. Only the ships captain saved his life.
But Jack was gone. Everyone feared that he was dead. Then suddenly, 2 weeks later, he showed up again. The famous dolphin seemed to be alright. And, at once, he went back to his job of helping every large ship that came along through the difficut channel.
That is, he helped every ship but one. Jack never turned up to help the Penguin again. One day, several years later, the Penguin was wrecked in the passage and sunk.
In 1912, 41 years after he was first sighted, Jack disappeared. The helpful dolphin was never seen again.
A Heroic Story
A woman falls from a tall ship
in the middle of the night. No one sees her or hears her cries
She starts to swim this way and that in the darkness. She has no idea which way is land and safety. The shore may be miles away.
Then, suddenly, in the water, a dark shape appeares next to her. A shark! She swerves in terror, moving off to the right. Suddenly, the shape moves up and touches her left hip. She sees that is not a shark, but a friendly dolphin. The dolphin continues to guide the woman to the right. There she finds the sea calmer and easier to swim in. Then, the animal gets behind and to the right of her in the water. It stays with her until the water is no longer deep and her feet touch the bottom. Finnaly, the woman stands up and walks onto dry land. She turns and walks onto dry land. She turns and sees the dolphin zip happily away back into the depths of the sea.