A girl in red with a hat on her head
went to the shore to explore.
She sat in the sand with shovel in hand
and scooped and poured while seabirds soared.
She heard a sound and turned around.
Something tumbled as a wave rumbled.
It toppled and tipped, flopped and flipped,
then landed in mud
with a thump, bump, thud.
And there in a pool that looked nice and cool,
that was made from the swell,
was a big seashell.
A big seashell, caught in a swell,
got stuck in the mud
with a thump, bump, thud,
and made a pool that looked nice and cool.
It watched a girl through the watery whirl
walk over the sand, her shovel in hand.
It whispered words that nobody heard,
then whispered again, “Come be my friend.”
A hungry crab, reaching to grab
a tasty bite to his left and right
by the edge of the pool that looked nice and cool,
noticed the girl near the watery whirl.
He stretched out a claw towards what he saw.
As her fingers reached out, he heard the shell shout,
“That’s no way to play!”
So he sidled away.
During the lull a fleet seagull,
flying over the head of the girl in red,
saw the crab while waiting to nab
a seafood lunch with a little crunch.
The seagull heard the seashell speak
and fluttered and flapped from tail to beak.
Then the crab took flight before she could light
as her tasty crustacean changed his location.
A girl in red with no hat on her head,
who went to the shore to explore
with sugary toes and sun-kissed nose,
reached in the pool that felt warm, not cool.
She picked up the shell that dropped from the swell
and got stuck in the mud
with a thump, bump, thud
and shook out the sand with both of her hands.
Then lifted it near to the edge of her ear and listened to hear…
Swish, swish, weeeee, swish, swish, wooooo
Swish, swish, crash, swish, swish, schlooooo
And that’s what the seashell said.
Honorable Mention, Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Literature