Shell Hunt

We had combed the edge of the waves for hours, Tides had rushed in, erasing the mornings sand castles. The waves had receded leaving tidal pools, shimmering in the afternoon sun.

She was maybe six years old,the bag of unremarkable shells dragging behind her.

“I’m tired,” she moaned. “These shells are all stupid!”

Smiling, I handed her a surf clam shell, its side still clinging together.

“I don’t want that thing!” she cried, and tossed it in the tidal pool.

The water ripped around the shell as it sparkled in the sun.

A tiny tear fell from her sunburned cheek.


33 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Sandra Bennett said,

    A lovely moment in time…

  2. 2

    boomiebol said,

    Awww…this is beautiful

  3. 4

    janet said,

    Brings a smile of remembrance to my face.

  4. 5

    bigsmileu1 said,

    Very moving piece. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  5. 6

    The Bumble Files said,

    Ah, I used to collect so many shells when I was a kid. I used to have big coffee cans full of them. A great memory when I think about it now.

    • 7

      beebeesworld said,

      We have a place in my flower garden where we dump shells from beach vacations, we refer to the area as “the beach”….we can look through the shells and the years of memories…I also keep a basket of shells on my deck… beebee

  6. 8

    Gilly Gee said,

    Ah, i guessed your other story was based on the picture too! nice work 🙂

    • 9

      beebeesworld said,

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Gilly Gee. Sometimes, I look at a personal photo or prompt and let my imagination go wild, and sometimes, i like to “get real” I enjoy your work as well, best wishes, beebeesworld

  7. 11

    Turmoil in a youngster’s heart is really shown well here. I can recall picking up shells and playing in tide pools as a kid, and you’ve called in those images very well in this short piece.

    • 12

      beebeesworld said,

      thanks, lorelei, and thanks for reading…i am getting lost in who follows my blog an whose i follow-I try to check their blog site and see, but I didnt see a connection to yours. I would like to follow your blog if u have one-if you do, let me know and please keep checking my blog out/follow it…best wishes, beebeesworld

  8. 13

    Sandra said,

    This captured the truculence and contrition of a little girl who’s ready for bed.

    • 14

      beebeesworld said,

      I both write and read the cute, heartwarming stories of childhood, but, in honesty, this article is much more what real life with real kids is like. Sometimes, I remember these funny little ordinary moments with much more of a sense of REALLY being a mom than those rare and golden moments of unusual or particularly memorable events. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  9. 15

    claireful said,

    You have captured a nice moment of a child’s frustration just because it’s the end of a long day on the beach. Lovely.

  10. 16

    Lots of different emotions flipping around in such small space. Great!

  11. 17

    Something else made her sad…because my much older children delight in picking up the most ordinary of shells when we go to the beach. I wonder if she is just tired or if it is something else…

    ~Susan (

    • 18

      beebeesworld said,

      In my mind, she was just tired, and disappointed that she had been looking for that perfect conch shell and never found it. i often wanted to walk on and on when my kids were tired and tired OF IT…Thanks for reading,..beebeesworld

  12. 19

    Sweet story. Advice to mom. Be thankful it’s just a few tears. Get her to bed fast, before it becomes a full-blown tantrum.

  13. 20

    Kaitlin said,

    Aw. Temper tantrums on the beach. I probably threw a few of those.

  14. 21

    rochellewisoff said,

    I still remember throwing a tantrum because my mother wanted me to share a hot fudge sundae with nuts. I wanted my own sundae. I didn’t like nuts. I was probably about six. And half a century later I can still feel the anger well up when I think about it.
    Nicely take on the prompt. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    I’m #11 on the list.

  15. 23

    vbholmes said,

    You’ve done a wonderful job of capturing that moment when a child has had enough and it’s time to go home. Good job!

  16. 24

    Nifti said,

    awww. Really nice 🙂

  17. 25

    keliwright said,

    Bittersweet and real. Writing-wise, the sunburned cheek communicates quickly and effectively the length of time the child has been out and justifies her crabbiness.

  18. 26

    Carrie said,

    my girls love shell collecting. They don’t seem to care if it is a whole shell of a fragment

  19. 27

    Phil Terrana said,

    I wanted to thank you for taking the time to read my story on “Whistling Fire.” I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • 28

      beebeesworld said,

      You are very welcome. I try to read the work of those who comment or read mine and find it a good way to check out writers who share the same writing style or interests as I do. Of coursed, sometimes, it might be the differences in our experiences that intrigues me.beebeesworld

  20. 29

    Brian Benoit said,

    Nice, Beebee – the girl’s character is very believable, and your descriptions of the tidal pools were nice. Good stuff!

    Brian (Here’s mine:

  21. 31

    You’ve caught the girl’s character so well! It makes me want to dig out my shell collection..

  22. 32

    free penny press said,

    Wonderful read.. If I may selfishly say this reminds me of my younger self. Growing up with the Atlantic Ocean for a backyard my days were spent searching the shoreline for shells and other treasures..I will always remember those beautiful days 🙂

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