Stinky and the Best Sandcastle Ever

20 May

 

 

 

Stinky and the Best Sandcastle Ever

By L. Stewart Marsden

 

Anna Maria Alberghetti Christiana Gabriella Margaret Anne Jones was in a snit.

“I want to finish my sandcastle!” she snitted at her dad.

And whenever Anna Maria Alberghetti Christiana Gabriella Margaret Anne Jones was in a snit, her dad lovingly called her “Stinky.”

“Well, Stinky, it’s hot, you’re red as a beet, and we can come back out on the beach when the sun goes down a bit,” he said, picking up her sand toys and taking her by the hand.

“It was gonna be the best castle ever!” she snitted.

“I have no doubt it was. It reminds me of a boy I knew who was about your age,” said her dad.

In the dark, cool cottage, Stinky sipped a glass of lemonade and lay back on the couch.

“He wanted to build the biggest and best castle ever, just like you. But, he didn’t have a plastic pail or shovel. He had a big steam shovel!”

“I don’t believe you!” said Stinky.

“Just the same, it’s still true. That boy, wearing a red bandana, sat up high in the steam shovel and worked the levers, pulling and pushing them back and forth. The big metal shovel scooped up sand and piled it on the beach — higher and higher . . .”

Stinky rested her head in her dad’s lap. As he talked she could hear the ocean waves roll onto the beach sand outside the cottage. She closed her eyes, and walked out onto the sand and there was a big metal steam shovel.

Stinky worked the levers, pulling and pushing them back and forth. The big metal shovel scooped up sand and piled it on the beach — higher and higher.

Up, up, up piled the sand, until there was a huge mountain of sand — as tall as the tallest-ever building.

Seagulls circled in the sun-warmed sky above the steam shovel, kacking at each other and swooping down and around the machine.

Stinky drove the steam shovel up, up, up the sand mountain, and began to push and dig and shape that mountain of sand into a sandcastle.

She built towers and walls, stairways and halls, bridges and moats . . . everything she could think that the best sandcastle ever would have.

Soon, people up and down the beach nearby came to watch Stinky work. They oohed and aahed and clapped their hands. They laughed and jumped and danced all around as the castle grew and grew and grew.

Soon, all the captains of the boats in the ocean nearby sailed in close to shore to watch Stinky work. They oohed and aahed and clapped their hands. They laughed and jumped and danced on deck as the castle grew and grew and grew.

Soon, all the pilots of airplanes and hot air balloons, and helicopters flew in close to watch Stinky work. They oohed and aahed and clapped their hands. They laughed, but could not jump or dance around (except for the pilot of the hot air balloon) as the castle grew and grew and grew.

Soon, all the whales and the dolphins and flying fish in the sea nearby swam in close to shore to watch Stinky work. They sang and splashed and flipped themselves in the water as the castle grew and grew and grew.

Soon, all the sandpipers and sand crabs and sand fleas gathered on the beach nearby to watch Stinky work. They piped and clicked and jumped about as the castle grew and grew and grew.

The steam steamed.

The shovel shoveled.

And Stinky pushed and pulled the steam shovel levers, dug, and piled, and pushed and smoothed.

Finally, Stinky stopped the steam shovel.

The biggest and best sandcastle ever was finished.

Stinky took a tall sea oat and tied her red bandana to it, climbed to the very top of the tallest tower of the castle, and planted the flag for all to see.

The people on the beach clapped!

The captains of the boats clapped and tooted the boat horns!

The pilots of the planes and the hot air balloons and the helicopters clapped and yoo-hooed!

The whales spouted, the dolphins jumped, and the flying fish flew in circles!

The sandpipers piped, the sand crabs clicked and the sand fleas flipped!

The steam shovel puffed out its last puff of steam . . .

“And the little boy bowed and raised his hands above his head to the ovation,” said her dad, finishing the story.

Stinky stirred from her sleep and looked up at her dad.

“I don’t believe you,” she sleepily said.

“Just the same, it’s still true,” he said.

 

Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden

 

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7 Responses to “Stinky and the Best Sandcastle Ever”

  1. skipmars December 24, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    Reblogged this on Writing Odds n Ends and commented:

    The next Stinky story?

  2. Outlier Babe December 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    This should be published, immediately–it’s such a wonderful story for children, so visual, so perfectly told, and so lending itself to child-appealing illustrations. I didn’t stop to check your About page and don’t recall if you’re already published (you should be). Are you planning to market it? Do you have a children’s book agent in mind?

    This is extremely rude of me but…Stinky, despite her…abruptness…is such a great strong female lead–a great image for girls, and there are so few of these–I’d love to see the ending redone somehow if it were published, so that the girl remained the focus, rather than falling back on the boy.

    Loved this, Skip. Thank you for another Christmas gift today : ) –O. Babe

    • skipmars December 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      Have you visited my Facebook page under Stinky and the Night Mare? Please do, and like/friend us. Gives you a bit on the first Stinky book published last month. As it goes, I will pursue more Stinky stories.

      • Outlier Babe December 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

        I don’t use FB except as a device to post WP entries for my very tiny circle (less than 10) of FB friends, and to respond to those people’s posts when they give me no alternative. Since FB began, I never used it. I am not a social creature, and hated its snoopiness. It was merely a repository of photos, and I may remove those now that I use Flickr.

        FB does not allow my O. Babe persona. I do not like to co-mingle that with my non-virtual self. However, since the publication of a book by an author whose writing I admire is quite a coup, I guess I can break the FB wall–for you : )

      • skipmars December 25, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

        🙂 I resemble your comment. I’ve unfortunately opened Pandora’s Box on my main FB site as a result of marketing Stinky. In November of each year, Jimmy Kimmel has a National Drop Your Facebook Friends Day, and I plan to participate next November 2015.

  3. Outlier Babe December 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    Jeez: Forgot to say “Merry Christmas!”

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