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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Ian & Mac Stories - Crab Tails

"Letís go to the beach today," Ian said excitedly. "Itís been a long time since itís been warm enough and I need a little sun. How about it, Mac?"

Ian was right. Not too often did it get warm enough in the highlands of Scotland to actually go swimming at the beach. "All right. Thatís a great idea. I think could do with a little fun and sun," Mac agreed. "Do you know where our beach towels are?"

Ian left and came back a few minutes later with two towels. "Hereís yours," he said, handing Mac a bright orange and yellow towel, "and hereís mine." He held up his bright pink and vivid blue one.

With towels slung over their shoulders, they walked through the tall grass towards the seashore. It wasnít a very sandy beach. There were more pebbles than sand, but if they cleared them away, they could lie in it. Each of them found a spot and spread out their towels. "Iíll beat you to the water," Ian called out, running as fast as he could to the sea.

Mac looked at the waves. They were not as big as usual. He jumped up and ran, following Ian, "Iím right behind you." They played and splashed in the water, diving under, looking for seashells and seaweed. After they were tired of the water they shook themselves dry and lay down on their towels. Soon they were both asleep, snoring loudly as the white clouds floated overhead.

"OUCH!" screamed Ian, waking Mac from a sound sleep. Mac sat up. Ian was jumping around on his towel. Mac looked in surprise, wondering why he was screaming. Then he saw a crab. It was hanging on the end of Ianís tail. "OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!" Ian cried out. He started running around on the beach. Not only did the crabís sharp pincers hurt but also the pebbly beach was making his paws sore.

"Hold still," yelled Mac, running towards him. "Iíll get it off." When Mac reached Ian he threw him down on the pebbles and sat on top of his back. "Hold still." He reached down and grabbed the crab by the back. He pulled and pulled and finally it let go of Ianís tail. Mac tossed it into the air. He didnít realize that heíd tossed it straight into the air and the crab came back down and landed on Macís tail. "OUCH!" he screamed and started hopping about.

Ian stood up and looked at Mac. He saw the crab. "OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!" Mac cried out. He started running up and down the beach, running into the small waves, stepping on seashell, dragging his tail through the water, and then he slipped on some dark green, slimy seaweed. He fell right on his tummy. Ian ran over to him. "Hold still, Mac. Iíll get the crab off." Ian grabbed hold of the crab and pulled. It went flying off of Macís tail and landed in the water.

"Weíd better be more careful of crabs. That hurt!" Ian sighed.

Mac answered, "That more than hurt. It was painful! But at least itís gone now." Not wanting to spoil the rest of the day, he said, "The sand is perfect for sandcastle building. Are you ready?"

Ian, clutching his sore tail, replied, "Iím ready. I want to build a huge sandcastle with towers and a moat and a lot of windows."

They sat down and started digging with their sharp raccoon claws. Soon they had a large mound of sand. They formed walls and added towers, cut out windows, made doors and dug a deep moat around it. "Thatís beautiful," Mac said, gazing at the magnificent sandcastle. "It looks almost real, doesnít it, Ian?"

Ian was about to answer when a wave of water lapped at the castle, filling the moat. "Look! The moat is full." Ian was delighted.

What they didnít realize was that the tide was coming in. Soon the waves were washing parts of their sandcastle away. "We should have built it further in," Mac said, too late. They stood by and watched the towers falling into the water and disintegrating into grains of sand. They werenít paying attention to anything else and didnít notice the crab crawling out of the sea and moving sideways, towards Ianís tail.

"OUCH!" screamed Ian.

Mac looked at Ianís tail. Ian yelled "OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!" and ran down the beach.

Mac sighed, "Here we go again!" and went off to help him.

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