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The Unexpected Wonder This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Glen Ellyn, IL
As soon as I spotted it, I knew exactly what it was. Clear, close to a white color, almost a foot long and bobbing up and down, slowly moving towards my legs. My heart raced. Rushing out of the water as fast as possible, I made my way back onto the beach. I could not believe I had just been literally five feet away from a real live jellyfish. Usually it’s my sister who is in the water the most, but that day it was the perfect weather and the water was really nice; a great reason to go in.
I never expected to find a jellyfish on vacation. That day, we were at the beach right next to my grandparents’ condo in Naples, Florida. There was only a few hours left, and I didn’t want to waste my second to last day on our trip. Earlier that day, my aunt had taken a walk on the beach, and came back saying that she had seen many jellyfish washed up on the sand. My reaction to this definitely fear and I did not want to go into the water. As the minutes passed by, I noticed a lot of people in the water, and no one had detected any jellyfish. I thought about it for a second, finally deciding to go into the water. My aunt is the kind of person that is extremely cautious about everything, so I thought about it, and I came to the conclusion that she was just overreacting. The water was the perfect temperature, and it was about eighty-five degrees out.
Slipping and sliding on the sand, I sprinted towards my destination of the three blue and white umbrellas. I attained my balance, and shortly after, my dad went back into the water with a net, carefully searching for the jellyfish. Soon, he caught a glimpse of the large, white creature, and picked it up carefully with the old green net. He carried it out of the water, making sure not to leave it out too long. Curious people walking along the water all wanted to stop and observe it. After a few minutes, I watched my dad step back into the water and release the jellyfish.
As it swam (actually it was pretty much just floating with the waves) out into the deep water again, I thought about how fortunate I was to not get stung by it, but I was also glad that I went into the water, found the jellyfish, because it is one more memory from Florida to keep for the rest of my life.





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