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The sun shone down on the two of them as they walked down the beach. Streaks of sun beams bounced into them and cast shadow friends wherever they went. The morning breeze swirled around them, sliding along their skin in the form of gentle touches. The edges of their summer dresses, which were pale blue and pink, were coming alive with the wind, blowing and twirling with every gust. The air was fresh and carried with it the salty taste of the sea, and the aroma of the wildflowers growing nearby, almost a freesia-like, sweet and simple. Together they padded along the shore, hand in hand. It was amazing how well the little girls hand fit into hers, as though she was made to hold her hand. They were meant for one another, mother and daughter.
Every morning the little girl would make her way into the bright bedroom where she would sleep, and every morning she would shake her until she woke, always eager to begin the day. The ocean fascinated the girl. Every day at the beach would bring a new and exciting adventure. Whether they were battling pirates, swimming with their colorful friends of the sea, watching dolphins, talking to mermaids, or scanning the beach for seashells. There was always something for them to do. The ocean seemed to call the two of them, its majestic waters always begging for company. It needed someone to walk along its shore, someone to play in its crystal clear waters, and someone to trample along the white beach. This morning was particularly ideal. The sky was a cloudless teal and the water was like glass, perfectly reflecting the world surrounding it.
The little girl looked up. Her blue eyes were almost translucent from the reflection of the sun.
“Mama, where do sea shells come from?” She looked down and smiled. Her daughter was looking more and more like her everyday, from the chocolate curls to the curves of her cherry lips.
“They come from the mermaids.” She said proudly. The little girl stopped and looked down at her feet. A little crease formed between her dark brows as she thought. She looked up again, this time a question in her eyes.
“But why would they leave them on the beach, they’re so pretty.” The little girl’s lips formed a pout as she released her mother’s grasp and put her delicate little hands on her hips. She stopped and thought, momentarily distracted by the grains of sand squishing beneath her bare feet.
“They left them here for us; the mermaids work hard to find these in the ocean and then they toss the shells ashore every morning so that we can take them and show the world their gifts. They would do it themselves but they don’t have the feet to walk.” The little girl bent down and her petite fingers gently lifted a bright green shell from the white sand.
“I think they wanted me to show this to my friends, so that they can see how hard they worked and then my friends will want some too.” The little girl smiled a grin that showed off her pearly white baby teeth.
“That sounds like a wonderful idea to me.”
The rest of the day was spent digging in the sand and searching for the best, the brightest, and the prettiest sea shells. Each one was unique, and each was beautiful. When the sky began to transform from the teal blue of day to the oranges and violets of the evening it was decided that they would head in. They each gathered their piles of shells into the skirts of their dresses and they skipped back up to the house. As soon as they reached the wide white porch they dumped their findings onto the whicker table that sat next to their wooden porch swing. Sitting down on the swing she watched the little girl comb through the shells.
“Who are you going to give these to?” She asked her. The little girl smiled an innocent smile.
“I’m going to give them to you mama.” She said in a sweet voice that sounded sing-songish.
“Because the mermaids wanted you to have them.” She smiled and stood up to give her a hug.