THE LITTLE DROP OF WATER
Who Learned to Give Give Himself Away
This is a story about a little drop of water. This drop of water lived in a far away ocean. Very few people probably know this, but drops of water all have names. This little drop of water was named Willis. Willis was a drop of ocean water who loved to travel all over the world. Willis never had to worry about how to get from one place to another; he just sort of hitch-hiked on the ocean's gentle currents. Willis loved this kind of travel because he was always surrounded by his friends and family. He liked good company and enjoyed the feeling of being a part of things.
Willis was so happy when the currents brought him up on those large continental shelves or in the shallower waters that surrounded so many of the ocean's beautiful islands. It was here that he was able to observe the most beautiful colors in all the ocean. He loved flowing over the coral reefs. These lovely reefs were home to thousands and thousands of brightly colored fish, as well as sea ferns that gently swayed in the sunlit waters. Coral reefs were home to many of those curious creatures like his friend, the blowfish, and thousands of other forms of marine life. He called this the "prickly fish," because when it became frightened it would blow itself up with water; this made big needle-like spines stick out all over its body. This is how the Blowfish kept their enemies from eating them. Willis loved the Blowfish.
Willis also liked the Trumpet Fish. "They look so silly," Willis thought, "going around trying to look like a stick." This was a very strange way to keep those big fish from eating them up. "Who do they think they are fooling?" Willis thought, giggling as they passed by him.
Willis also loved the brightly colored Parrot Fish. Some of the flying fish had told him about rainbows in the other world and how lovely they were. Willis did not see how even the rainbow's colors could match the brilliant colors of the Parrot Fish.
No two days were alike for Willis when he got to live on a coral reef. It was so much more exciting than those long, long trips across the ocean on a current. Sometimes he would go for months and months and not even see the sky or the ocean's bottom. He was always amazed at how many drops of water there must be in the world —"Zillions and zillions," he thought. How fortunate and blessed he often felt that he was one of them, and that he had a name and friends and a family that loved him. Willis' Mom and Dad had always taught him that no matter how many drops of water there were in all the oceans of the world, his Creator knew him by name. Willis knew that every little drop of water was very important to the Creator. This gave Willis a wonderful, warm feeling inside, especially during those long journeys on the currents when he sometimes felt like nobody even knew he was there.
One day Willis was hitch-hiking on a current on one of his longest trips ever. He had come all the way down the west coast of the United States on the California Current. Then he had continued south and become part of the Peru Current. This current was off the coast of South America, and it was here that he began to change his course in a Westerly direction. He was hoping that somewhere out in the oceans there would be some reefs or islands around which he could play. He had been traveling for the longest time and he truly felt like he needed a rest. Poor Willis did not know that there was nothing ahead of him now for weeks and weeks except water — lots and lots and lots of water.
One day on this long journey, Willis felt himself getting warmer. He thought that this might mean that land was close, but sadly for poor Willis, this was not to be. He saw a great big mountain under him one day, and then he remembered what one of his cousins had told him once. This was part of the Pacific Antarctic Ridge. Now he knew why he felt so warm: he must be very close to the equator.
Soon the current began to take him south again. This was the South Equatorial Current, an older and wiser drop of water told him. Now he began to see the bottom. Yes, it was getting shallower! "Oh how exciting!" Willis thought.
He was so happy again as he began to see the beautiful fish he had learned to love and admire in the shallower waters. Willis passed right through the Marquesas Islands. He felt right at home here. He didn't seem to think that the long trip had been so bad now. Perhaps he would even get to spend some time here. "Maybe the current will just sort of swirl around the islands," Willis thought. He hoped that he could stay, but after a few days he noticed that all the other drops of water were moving on. How sad he was. "I wish that I could be like some of these fish and have a little house down in those rocks somewhere," he thought as he sadly waved goodbye to all his friends.
Now the currents took Willis south again. This had been good news when he was north of the equator, especially way up by Alaska. That meant that he would be getting warmer. Now, however, since he was south of the equator, that meant that he would be getting colder as he flowed south on this new current. Soon Willis began to feel very lonely. He felt as if he didn't have one single friend in the whole wide world. He passed by New Zealand and didn't even notice the beauty and brilliant colors around Chatham Island. This was not like Willis at all not to notice the colorful Parrot Fish or the lovely Sea Anemones. When Willis began to feel sorry for himself, he missed a lot of happiness that was all around him. Somehow he just didn't see any of it at all.
After a few days, Willis noticed that he was very, very cold. He knew that he had never been this cold before, even when he had to spend that whole winter in the Arctic. Poor Willis! He didn't realize that he was feeling so cold because of how cold his attitude toward others had become; all this because he had been feeling sorry for himself since he left the Marquesas Islands. Willis was thinking so much about himself that he didn't even have any time to think about anyone else.
Now something began to happen to Willis that all drops of water in all the oceans of the world everywhere dread and fear. This is the one thing that scares water drops even when they so much as think about it: Willis was sinking slowly but surely toward the bottom! All this because of how cold he had become. He had seen this happen to other drops of water, but he never thought it would ever happen to him. Now it was happening to him and poor Willis didn't even realize it.
What a terrible thing! The colder he became, the faster he would sink; and the faster he headed toward the bottom, the less he realized how numb he was becoming. Once he settled on the bottom he would probably never be able to take a journey on a current again. He would never see his friends the Parrot Fish, the Blow Fish, or the Sea Turtles again. All Willis' friendly fish friends like warm water; they always avoid cold, dark water.
He knew he had brought all this on himself, and he felt so badly. He became terrified at the thought of spending his life on a dark, cold ocean bottom. Then he began to see some of the most horrible, monstrous looking fish he had ever seen. They had great big green eyes and huge teeth. Their mouths were wide open as they swam by him. Willis was frozen with fear. He remembered now what his mom and dad had told him about keeping a sweet spirit and not feeling sorry for himself. He now remembered their warning about how fast a drop of water would sink when it became cold.
"Is it too late?" Willis wondered. He began to cry, now too cold even to shiver.
Just when it appeared hopeless to poor little Willis, he remembered what his Dad had told him when he was just a little water droplet. "Son, your Creator knows your every need; He will always help you if you ask him with a sincere and a pure heart."
Then Willis began to pray and ask his Creator for help: "Please, please, Creator! I'm so sorry I got cold and bitter. Please get me back up, and I'll try my very best to obey all your laws for the rest of my life. Please save me! Please, please, please!"
But Willis just kept on sinking. He thought that this was the end. He felt like he was going to his final resting place: a cold, watery grave just below the Antarctic circle. How completely defeated and sad poor Willis felt when suddenly he heard a big "WHOOSH!"
"What was that?" he asked himself.
Hey, he was going up now! Wait a minute ! It seemed even darker than before. Yes, he was going up.
"What is happening to me?" he wondered.
He felt like he was in some kind of giant elevator. He could feel himself getting warmer, yet he was powerless to figure out what was happening to him. Then, the most beautiful, fantastic and thrilling thing that had ever happened to Willis took place. A giant "WHOOOOOSH" (even bigger than the one before) flung him way up in the air! Yes, the air! He had only been in the air one other time when a speeding boat splashed him way above the surface. Now, as he came back down toward the surface, he saw an old friend of his: it was one of the whales he had met when he was little. This old friend had scooped up the helpless little drop of water in his mouth on one of his deep dives and spewed him out on the surface.
"Oh, thank you, Mr. Whale! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Willis shouted joyfully. Yet, in all the excitement, Willis never thought to thank the One who told the whale to help him, his Creator to Whom he had prayed for help in his darkest moment.
"Just following orders," answered Mr. Whale.
"I wonder what he meant by that?" pondered little Willis, the water drop, as he now floated on the surface that he thought he would never see again.
Now Willis was enjoying the peace and calm of the surface as he soaked in the warm rays of the sun. They felt so good as they glistened upon him, giving him that diamond-like sparkle that felt so new and wonderful to him. Then, in an instant, all that serenity vanished as a loud "BOOM!" shattered the afternoon air. He looked over his shoulder and saw a large boat. He recognized this to be a whaling boat.
"Oh no!" shouted little Willis. "Where is Mr. Whale?"
Then he saw his friend. The whale had been struck a deadly blow with the powerful cannon-like harpoon from the bow of the whaling boat. Willis began to shake and sob uncontrollably as they pulled the whale by him to load his giant, limp body into the big ship.
"I did this for you, Willis," the whale whispered with his last breath as the men pulled him alongside the boat, the ocean now stained red with the blood pouring from Mr. Whale's side. Soon the ship was gone.
Willis was left with a sad and empty feeling. He was glad that he was saved from having to spend all his days on the bottom, but his heart was gripped with pain and sorrow at having lost his friend Mr. Whale.
"He died for me." Willis kept repeating Mr. Whale's last words over and over again. This was somehow more than a little drop of water could comprehend. He also remembered Mr. Whale saying that he had saved him because the Creator asked him to. "Just following orders," he remembered Mr. Whale saying. That must be what he meant. Willis was overcome with the thought of how much the whale must have loved him to give up his life for him. He thought of how much the whale must have loved the Creator to do what he did when he surely knew that a whaling boat was in the area.
The next day, little Willis saw a sight that sent cold shivers up his back.
"Oh my goodness, LOOK!" Willis shouted to all the other water drops around him. "LOOK! LOOK! LOOK!"
Willis pointed to the massive icebergs all around them. He had forgotten all about these poor, trapped, miserable drops of water who had been imprisoned for centuries in these great mountains of frozen doom.
"How awful," Willis thought aloud.
An older and much wiser drop of water overheard him. "Yes, that is the price they must forever pay for becoming cold and hard."
Willis' heart sank within him. Now he remembered. This is almost what had happened to him. He remembered sinking lower and lower, and how his bad attitude had started it all. Then he remembered his prayer to his Creator when he thought his end had come. He had thanked the whale, but he had forgotten to thank the One who sent the whale to save him. Willis bowed his head at that very moment, and as little tears rolled down his cheeks he said, "I'm sorry, Creator. You are the One who sent the whale to save me. There was no way that I could have saved myself. I am going to live for You now. My life and my heart are all yours from this day on."
Soon little Willis became part of the current called the West Wind Drift. He had made up his mind. He would never, ever feel sorry for himself again. His life would be different now. Willis knew that his life was no longer his own.