Poetic Tales for Children: by Dennis L. Siluk

Dennis has several children (poetic) stories he did in the 80s, and here is one; perhaps he will put the rest up if this site shows promise. All the original stoires to include "Willie the Humpback Whale," had a number of drawings to them, which are not here included. see site: http://dennissiluk.tripod.com

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Tale of Willie the Humpback Whale

Note: This book was out of print for 20-years, it presently has been re-edited lightly but only several grammar mistakes were corrected, along with a little punctuation changed, and providing of quotation marks, and eliminating capitol letters from random words that normally would not be capitalized [originally used for emphasis] from the original printing; original blank-ink drawing remain also; revised 9/ 2002.

An Entertaining and Heartwarming Story

The Tale of:

The Humpback Whale

A Poetic Story


Dennis L. Siluk

Pulitzer Entry

Forth Printing-Revised Edition, 10/2002
After 20-years

Illustrated by the Author

First Printing, l982
Second Printing, l983 [April]
Third Printing, l983 [Revise Edition]
Forth Printing [resurrected and revised 10/2002]

Copyright, l982
By: Dennis L. Siluk

Willie sailing in circles


Willie was a Humpback Whale
Who sailed the Pacific Sea
Who had a different kind of tail?
[Not two fins—but three]
Willie, his tail was depressing
In everyway,
So to satisfy his unpleasant
He sails in circles all day,--
By a Light House not far away.

Mother Whale

To his Mother, Marlene,
Willie often said:

“I wish I had,
And that it wasn’t—
My tail that is,
Which is so uncommon?”

She’d respond
With a chant:

“O Willie, my Son!
Can’t you see?
It’s not your tail:
But rather,
Your feelings.”

Father Whale

And to Elmo, his father
--a fearless mammal—
Willie would say:

“I wish I was different—
Maybe a camel.”

He’d respond
With a groan:

“Willie my son
It’s what’s inside
That helps us grow!”

Baby Blue
(A Blue Whale)

To his friend
Baby Blue Whale,
Willie often said:

“I wish I could bite
Off my odd tail.”

O Baby Blue,
He’d jump up and down,

“I never noticed,”
(With a frown).

Elmer (an Elephant Seal)

And to Elmer,
An Elephant Seal
(Who’d toy by the Pacific
Willie would whisper:

“If my tail was gone
I’d wish no more.”

But in a like manner,
Elmer would reply:
“O Willie, O Willie—
God live or go die!”

Wanda (a Seagull)

And to Wanda Seagull
Who’d perch on his back
Willie would “This tail of mine
Makes me sad.”

Wanda would speak
--With a chuckling voice:

“If all things were the same
There’d be no choice”.

Part II

during one April sail
Willie met a Humpback female;
He said with a toss and a grin:

“If not for my tail
I could be her boyfriend”.

So he swam away in defeat

“I’m not good enough to meet
This lovely Humpback Female (Emily)
Who follows me during sail”.

Emily (a female Humpback Whale)


She Followed Willie’s
(looking softly at his sad smile),
Hearing him grumble every mile.

Turned around
(With a frown on her face),
Leaving Willie and his sad sounds—
Heading north bound.

Willie continued to feed
His unhappy feelings
(in the Pacific out of sight):
Sailing alone with a tear—
Joking—feeling sorry for his life.



It came to pass one day
Willie got mad
At his Old Ways;
With his tail
He spun an he splashed
Creating a wave—
Not whale could match;

The wave took Willie
To the Atlantic Sea that day.

When Willie awoke
—thousands of miles from home—
He said
with a puffed up grin:

“So many whales I see
With odd thing!”

Willie hearing voices


Willie heard voices
From afar
“Welcome, Welcome
Whoever you are;
Do not shy away—
Humpback Whale—
There is room for all to sail.”

Sailing closer
Willie mumbled
(with an
unhappy sigh):

“My name is Willie
I have and odd tail
That’s hard to live by…”

Said Randy, a Goose-Beaked Whale:

“As you can see,
I have little tail
And no fins to help me sail.”

Randy (a Goose-Beaked Whale)

“And over there is Humpty
A Bottlenose Whale
He says he is different
Because of his nose
But he says he has many life goals.”

Humpty (a Bottlenose Whale)


“And Grin Teeth Alfred
—a Right Whale by race—
Can’t smile for his teeth are misplaced;
But he compensates by laughing

—He says
He’s happy.”

“And Norma, a Narwhal Whale,
Has a sword for a nose
—which is hard for sail—
She says she doesn’t care
For her nose is unaware.

And You! Willie, my friend—
Say and off tail,
When only I see an extra fin
For sail.”

Norma (a Narwhal Whale)


“Can it not be used for speed
And splash;
For good time with friends,
For laughs.

Why show disrespect
For your insides…
Because of an extra fin—
That’s different to your eyes.”

Willie then thought with relief

“Why should I not be pleased?

For I’ve simply been blind
To this wonderful tail of mine.”

Part IV

As Willie turned ’round
He saw a Humpback female in frown,
He said to Randy quietly:

“I have seen her in the Pacific Sea.”

Randy replied with note:

“She has a tail like you.
She’s been here for a while—
With tears and no smile.”

Willie remembered that day
(last April when Emily sailed his way)
O! He grumbled at his tail—every mile!
And left her to sail away.

With a cheerful face he approached
Emily and her frown,

With a soft smile he then spoke:

“What a pretty third fin you carry

Willie and Emily sailed away,
Smiling in every way
Splashing their fin-tails around
Creating a monstrous sound.

They were never seen of since
But Randy knows they’re around:
For whenever there’s a Tidal Wave—
He says: “You can bet
Willie and Emily are at play.”

Willie and Emily sailing away

Comments about the book “Willie the Humpback Whale by first graders at Ascension School; Minneapolis, Minnesota, (l983):

“What I learned from Willie: Willie tells me to like things that are good even if they look Funny.”
--Unknown Student

“I’m happy now my tail and fins help me make big waves.”
--Cedric Allbritton

“I love you, Willie. You are good inside. I love you, Emily, you are good to me.”
--Minni Williams

“I don’t have any front teeth and I still like myself anyway (Alfred).”
--Kamau Larry

“Just because you don’t got what other people got and you look different you’re still good and you don’t have to fuss about.”
--Lucretia Burgess

“I don’t like my fins. Don’t cry, Willie. That’s O>K> I still like you.”
--Lucretia Burgess

“Willie didn’t like his tail and he had said feelings. He changed his mind cuz his tail was still a good tail.”
--Bridget Dols

“Willie helps me to be happy when I have something I don’t like.”
--Endea Curry

“Willie was nice at the end cuz he thought over about the way he could splash so high.”
--Dathen Slaughter

St. Paul Pioneer Press/Dispatch Saturday, July 16, l983

▀ ▀ ▀

Roseville poet Dennis L. Siluk’s “The Tale of Willie the Humpback Whale” is in its third printing. The story of a little whale with three fins instead of two elicited some thought-provoking comments form Minneapolis third-graders who read “Willie.” Asked what the story taught, one student wrote, “Just because you don’t got what other people got and you look different, you’re still good and you don’t have to fuss abut it.”

▀ ▀ ▀

By Mary Ann Grossmann
Assistant Features Editor