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Sometimes the prize isn't worth the effort.


He walks along the sandy shore,

Looking for the perfect place to stop.

It takes him a while to find just the right place.

He throws down a colourful blanket and

Sets up his things, ready to write.

As he begins to put clever things onto the paper,

He notices something at the edge of his vision.

His eyes turn to look at it.

It is a shell.

He sighs, vaguely annoyed by the distraction,

Turns back to his work, puts pen to paper

To express himself, be heard.

Smiles as his thoughtful remarks begin to flow,

Once more the shell draws his attention.

Damned shell. Stop it! He mutters.

He sets down his pen and paper and

He looks fully at the offending thing.

The shell seems to be watching him.

How can this be? How can this plain object

Draw his gaze so? He is vexed.

He decides to ignore the damned thing.

Sighing, he picks up his writing things once more.

He begins to get into the flow.

His prose is jumping onto the paper.

However, a glint, a sparkle catches his eye.

Once more he drops his quill.

He looks fully at the shell.

It could be pretty, he supposes.

The way it seems to catch the sun.

He considers going for a closer look.

No! He has work to do and cannot,

Must not get distracted.

And yet…

He wonders how heavy the shell is.

What it would be like to hold it.

He gets up and walks to the shell.

He kneels beside the it.

Looks at it, observes it from all angles.

Touches the hard exterior.

It is an oyster, as yet intact.

He runs his fingers over the rough surface.

Clasps it in his hand and lifts it.

The mollusc feels nice in his palm.

But he isn't sure that he likes it.

He throws the shell to the sand.

The shell discarded, he sets to work.

Words appear on the page once more.

The sun moves above.

His hand's shadow lengthens.

The tide begins to come in.

Waves approach his feet.

He continues with his toil.

The water laps against his foot.

Ow! The shell is washed against his toe.

He gasps with exasperation.

(Although it is now time to move)

That damned shell!

He leans down and lifts it again.

Holds it in his hand.

Considers it from all angles.

He wonders what is inside?

What to do?

He decides to open the shell.

Talking his pocket knife,

He begins to pry the seam,

So tightly closed.

He feels a slight click.

Knows he can open it,

With a little effort

She will give up her contents,

Submit to him.

The shell splits open.

He pries the two halves apart,

Revealing a soft vulnerable heart.

How pretty the sheen is

On the smooth inside of the shell

He pushes his finger into the soft flesh.

Prodding, poking, examining.

He feels that he has won.

He presses firmly the fleshy contents.

There is a pearl in the shell!

He quickly scrapes the flesh

From the shell with his hard nails.

Scraping, removing, annihilating.

No longer caring to be gentle.

He feels a little sad

But it's just an oyster

He has his prize as he

Puts the pearl in his pocket.

And throws the empty shell into the ocean.
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