by Margo Fallis Sunflowers in the Sea
Shauna was a bright
yellow starfish that lived in a shallow tidal pool at the edge of the
North Sea. She looked just like a sunflower; with her five star legs
pouring out from the center, much like petals. Her color added much beauty
to the pool. She was a happy starfish, never complaining about anything.
Shauna wasnt the only
sea creature in the tidal pool. There were a few tiny blue fish, a sea
urchin, a few sea anemone, a small crab, and many barnacles that had made
their home on a piece of driftwood. "I love this tide pool," Shauna said
to the others, who were sometimes not as happy to be there as the cheerful
Kyle, the grumpy crab,
hated being in the pool. He walked along the bottom stirring up the sand
and then hopped up on top of a rock, looking out towards the North Sea. He
wanted the high tide to come in so that he could float out of the pool and
be in the open sea. When he heard Shauna proclaim her love for the tidal
pool, he turned his red and cream-colored body towards her and said,
"Well, little miss sunflower, you might love it here, but not me! In fact,
I hate it here!"
Shauna looked at the
angry crab. "But, Kyle," she said, "its so beautiful. Look around you.
How could you not love it here?"
Kyle snapped his front
claws together and angrily answered, "I cant wait for high tide," then he
turned back to face the open sea again.
Ally, a sea urchin,
clung to the rocks on the side of the pool. Her short, purple spines added
color and beauty to the pool. "I love it here too," she said to Shauna. "I
dont have to worry about otters eating me, and I cant possibly get
crushed by an octopus as long as I stay in here," she added.
Just then a small
group of children and their momma came over to the tide pool. "Oh Momma,
look at the bright yellow starfish. It looks like the sun shining under
the water. Can I touch it?" a little girl asked.
"Be very gentle and
dont try to pick it up off the rock," her mother warned.
The little girl
reached her hand into the water and softly stroked Shaunas legs. "It
feels hard and has sharp points on it," she said, touching the starfish
again. Shauna loved it when the children came. It made her happy seeing
how excited they would get watching and feeling the creatures in the pool
of clear seawater. As the little girl was petting Shauna, a little boy
picked up some sand and threw it into the pool. It dirtied the clear
water. Kyle covered his eyes with his claws and Ally closed her mouth
Momma said to the boy,
"Dont throw sand into the pool. Cant you see that it bothers the sea
creatures?" She showed her little boy how Kyle had to cover his eyes to
keep the sand from irritating them.
He looked at the crab
and said, "Im sorry, little crab. Im sorry, little starfish. Im sorry,
spiny sea urchin."
Momma took the
children and left the pool and as soon as the sand settled, the creatures
were relieved. Shauna left the rock and floated over to where Allan sat.
"Allan, are you all right? I dont think the children saw you way over
here behind this rock," she asked.
"Im all right," said
the pale blue animal. He wriggled his tentacles in the water. Shauna
watched them swaying back and forth.
She asked the tiny
blue fish how they were. "Are you all right, guys?"
The fish blew bubbles
and called out, "Were all right, Shauna. We hid behind the rocks so the
children couldnt touch us."
Shauna floated back to
her rock and set herself down on it. Just then, the first water of high
tide came over the rocks into the pool. Kyle clapped his two claws
together. "Yeah! High tide! Im free," he yelled.
As the minutes passed,
more and more water came rushing into the tidal pool. Shauna, Allan, and
Ally held on tight so they wouldnt be washed over the rocks into the
North Sea. Kyle let the tide catch him and sweep him out into the deep
blue waves. He laughed with delight.
Shauna watched the
waters close in deeper above her. She could see jellyfish swimming above,
their long dangling tentacles reaching down towards her. She watched as
the seaweed gathered into clumps and washed in upon the beach. She also
saw pieces of driftwood rolling in on the waves towards the sand. She
turned and looked for the piece of barnacle-covered driftwood that had
been in the pool. It was gone, heading towards the beach, like the other
pieces. Seals played in the waves above her. Dolphins jumped in and out of
the water, frolicking in the floating seaweed.
Night fell and it
became very dark under the sea. Shauna and the others in the pool fell
asleep as the waves crashed above them. In the morning, when they woke up,
it was just they and their little tidal pool once again. Shauna looked
around. Allan was still there, his light blue body clinging to the rocks.
Ally, the urchin, was still there. Shauna could still see the tiny blue
fish swimming through the clear water. Then she heard, "I hate this pool!
I thought I was rid of this place forever, but wouldnt you know it, the
last wave deposited me right back here. I cant win!" Shauna looked over
to see Kyle sitting on top of a rock, complaining as he looked out to the
"Welcome back," said
Shauna. Kyle mumbled a few words then went off to sulk. Shauna looked
around the tidal pool. "I love this pool!" she said.
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