Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Day at the Beach

(Casual Friday Fun Series)

Since they were toddlers Timmy and Tommy spent their summers together at Liberty Beach. The boys lived far apart on the Mainland, but each summer their parents brought them to Liberty Village for a well-deserved vacation. Since there were no other little boys in the time-sharing community, Timmy and Tommy brought their pails and shovels to the water edge and spent their days together building sandcastles on the beach. As the boys got older and the castles became more elaborate, their play became more contentious.

See, Timmy liked building tall narrow castles, and Tommy preferred the wider, lower and more fortified type. Arguing over the architecture was somehow part of the game and the castles ended up being not too narrow and not too wide, with the boys having great fun and working up a healthy appetite by the time they were summoned home for dinner.

These were the best of times until the summer before kindergarten. Tommy’s parents bought their little boy a brand new shinning metal shovel bigger than ever. Timmy showed up at the water edge with his old plastic shovel and pail. Tommy was hauling sand at an unprecedented rate with his new toy and Timmy wanted to play with the big shovel too. It wasn’t fair. The castle was getting wider and wider with every stroke of Tommy’s shining toy. Timmy, almost in tears, folded his arms across his chest and refused to play. Tommy kept hauling sand trying to get Timmy back into the game. He even added a few really tall turrets to the castle, but Timmy started yelling, screaming and kicking the castle with his bare feet. It wasn’t about the castle anymore; Timmy just wanted a turn at that big shinny shovel. Watching his hard work falling apart, Tommy got angry too.

It was getting late; almost dinner time, so Tommy patched the castle here and there and the boys ran home for dinner leaving behind a half-finished castle and with no appetite for mom’s casserole. Timmy and Tommy did not go back to the beach that summer. On the way home, in the back seat of the Land Rover, Timmy vowed to make his parents buy him the biggest shovel ever, so next summer he would build the tallest sandcastle Liberty Village ever saw. Tommy squished between his sisters in the old Chrysler minivan was clenching his big shovel, which didn’t look so shiny anymore, in his little hands, hoping against all hope that it will last until next summer....

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