by Rachel Bradbury
“Tadahh!” cheered Amelie Scott, adding the finishing touches. “My masterpiece is complete.”
“Well done!” called Dad from the water’s edge.
“That’s the tallest sandcastle yet,” said Mum.
The sun was setting as the Scott family gathered their belongings and headed back to their tent.
Amelie couldn’t wait for morning to come so she could build in the sand again.
As the first ray of light shone through the tent’s window, Amelie was up and dressed. She unzipped her tent and bounded out, only to discover…
Her sandcastle was gone! She looked up and down the beach, just in case someone had moved it, but her precious sandcastle was nowhere to be seen.
“Nooooo!” wailed Amelie
“What’s wrong?” asked Dad, tumbling out of his tent.
“My sandcastle’s vanished,” sobbed Amelie.
“The tide’s washed it away,” said Dad, patting Amelie on the shoulder.
Amelie frowned. She didn’t like the sound of these ‘tide’ creatures at all.
Amelie set to work dumping buckets of wet sand onto the beach, until she had built the most extravagant sandcastle ever.
“Let’s see you try and destroy this sandcastle, Tides,” she said, dusting her hands together.
In the morning, Amelie peered out of her tent and couldn’t believe her eyes. Her super-dooper sandcastle had vanished AGAIN!
“Thief!” called out Amelie. “Thief!!!”
“What’s going on?” shouted Dad, tumbling out of his tent.
“The Tides have stolen my sandcastle,” sobbed Amelie.
Amelie devised a plan. In the afternoon she would build another sandcastle and then, at night, keep watch from her tent ready to scare away the sneaky ‘tide’ creatures.
Amelie lay on her tummy. She could still see her sandcastle in the distance. Amelie yawned. Then she yawned again. She pinched her arms and pulled her hair, but her eyes grew heavier and heavier.
“My sandcastle,” wailed Amelie the next morning.
“What’s the matter?” asked Mum, tumbling out of her tent.
“Every day I build a magnificent sandcastle,” said Amelie, “and the next day it’s disappeared. What can I do?”
“There’s nothing you can do,” explained Mum. “The moon controls the tides and when it’s high tide the waves wash up the sand and clear everything away, like a giant Etch- A-sketch.”
Amelie didn’t know whether to believe her mum or not. It sounded a bit wishy-washy.
But, later that morning when Amelie had finished her two-storey castle, she noticed something strange happening. The white frothy waves were coming in closer and closer. Soon they were lapping at Amelie’s sandcastle, licking it, biting it.
“Mum, Dad!” called Amelie. “The waves are eating my sandcastle.”
“That’s the tide coming in, Amelie,” replied Dad.
“But I don’t want the tide to wash away my sandcastle,” said Amelie. “I’ll forget what it looked like.”
“Take a photo,” suggested Dad. “Then you’ll have the memory of your sandcastle forever.”
Amelie quickly grabbed the camera and clicked away.
Now, every time Amelie visits the beach she takes photos of her sand sculptures before the tide can gobble them up.
Rachel Bradbury lives in Redcliffe, Queensland and enjoys writing children's stories and short stories. She blogs at Rachel's Book Nook.
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