My daughter was 6, when I told this story for the first time. She's 19 now.
"There once was a sea monster. A not terribly big one at that. And a writer tried to tell this story about it, and couldn't."
"Why not, Mommy?" asked the little girl.
"Because she kept getting distracted, little one," Sara answered, peering into her daughter's eyes through the wispy blond hair. "The writer, had a little girl, just like you. And her little girl kept the mommy so busy that she never seemed to find time to write. Until one day, one very special day, the mommy discovered that she could turn on the tape recorder when she was telling a story."
"OK Mommy, I have a tape recorder, so what is the story today?" pleaded the little girl. "May I please have a story?"
"Are you sure you're not too tired? It's almost bedtime," said her mother, knowing what the answer would be.
"I'm not too tired."
"OK, settle down. Let me tell you the story of Seamore. Now, Seamore is a monster. A sea monster. He is blue and green with shiny sparkles. He is a different kind of a sea monster, because he has hands and a pocket," said her mother smiling at the image. The little girl smiled and slid down under her covers secure in the knowledge that her mother did indeed have a story for her.
"Let me tell you a little about Seamore. He keeps his treasures in his pocket. Shiny sea shells, pearls from the oysters that grew in the ocean, and ruby from a jewelry chest that had fallen over board many years ago. It was old, but it was bright and shiny. He loved all of his treasures. He probably also had some string and maybe a small stick of two in his pocket. Just like human children, sea monsters keep many different things in their pockets."
One day Seamore was swimming along the beach, looking for treasure when he spotted something shiny in the shallows. He was watching it so closely in the shifting waves, he didn't notice that he wasn't alone on the beach. Until his hand touched the treasure just as another hand did the same.
Shocked, Seamore looked up into the wide eyes of a human. Not a full grown human, a half size one, which he knew usually meant a child. The eyes of this child looked the way he felt. But Seamore didn't want to scare anybody, so he gently pulled his hand back and smiled. The boy smiled back. And thus began the friendship between the two.
Jack was eight, and his pockets were bulging with empty sea shells and shiny rocks. He had long since learned not to put in frogs or living starfish because they wriggled and tickled. But he liked to keep buttons, and S-hooks and strong string in there. Because he never knew when he might need something.
The monster didn't look scary. But one never knew. But Jack looked down at the treasure in the water, back at Seamore and bent to pick up the shiny thing. It was a bottle cap. With a timid smile, he put out his hand to give it to the monster, since he already had one. Surprised, Seamore took the treasure gently and his grin got even bigger.
In just a few moments, the two had emptied their pockets and were admiring each other's gatherings. Jack's eyes got very big when he saw the red jewel, and Seamore really wanted Jack's S-hook and buttons. And so they traded. Each quite sure that they'd gotten the better part of the deal.
It was late, time to go home. But the two of them, agreed to meet the next day. And they met day after day, enjoying each other, becoming fast friends, in spite of their differences. The beach rang with laughter, and splashing.
Tune in for the further adventures of Seamore and Jack.