|Joggers marched past in their steady rhythmic footfalls. Jim felt the sand between his toes, the constant wind in his hair, and the relentless waves pounding the shore, speckled with sea mushrooms and broken seashells. The sun dotted the washed-out blue sky.
Jim broke from his hypnotic stare of the waves. “Yes, honey.” He looked down into those china blue eyes that resembled his own.
“What’s that?” Courtney pointed toward a shell that moved.
“Why that’s the home of a hermit crab.”
“You mean the shell is alive?” She asked puzzled.
“No. He just lives in the shell. Kind of like a star fish lives in the ocean.”
“Does it go swimming in the ocean?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think so.”
“What does it do all day?”
“Fight other hermit crabs for food and hide.”
A large swell crashed and a wave swept over their feet, engulfing the crab. The shell tumbled in the surf. Courtney ran over and plucked the shell from the tumult, while gently cupping it in her tiny palm.
She stroked the smooth shell. “It’s ok,” She whispered, “I’ve got you.”
The memory came like the ocean breeze as Jim recalled those same words after their canoe capsized on the lake. A larger boat had sped by and the wake caught their small craft just right. Both were thrown overboard. Courtney flailed in the water while Jim struggled under the canoe. Finally, in what seemed like minutes he popped to the surface.
“Daddy help!” She screamed.
Jim’s instinct took over. He hadn’t swum for several years, but that day he did -- like a champion.
Jim’s arms wrapped around his daughter and he whispered those words as they swam for shore.
He smiled as Courtney nestled the small creature among the safe reeds.
Limited to 300 words
Must contain: Star, Lake, Fight
© Copyright 2012 BScholl (UN: the0hawk at Writing.Com).
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