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The Sea's Surprise

Jim and Andy walked along the beach, looking for an adventure. They joked that someday they would find a talking fish or a mermaid or a bottle with a treasure map inside. So far they had only found shells and rocks and seaweed. Today though was different. The boys felt excited.

Sea crabs scampered on the rocks. Up one side and down the other. They were quick and lively. The tide didn’t seem to ever wash them away. Then Jim saw a fish. It was stranded on the beach, just flopping around.

“Can it talk?” Andy asked.

“It looks like any other fish,” Jim said. He picked it up gently and carried it to the water.

“Do you think it will grant us any wishes?” Andy laughed.

The boys watched as the silver fish sped off through the water. “Nope. Maybe next time.” Jim grinned.

As the two friends walked farther down the beach they came upon a bottle. It was green with a cork in the mouth.

“Our luck will change. Does it have a map inside or a genie?” joked Andy.

Andy reached down and picked up the bottle. He rubbed it. Nothing happened. He pulled on the cork. Nothing happened. He shook it. Nothing happened.

“Try the cork again. I bet the genie is waiting for us to release him. Or we’ll find a treasure map and have a real adventure,” Jim exclaimed.

Andy tugged again on the cork. He wiggled it back and forth. He twisted it around and around. Finally it popped out without breaking. Andy shook the bottle. Nothing came out. Looking inside he couldn’t see anything. Jim looked too and shook his head. Empty.

“It’s just an old wine bottle,” Jim grumbled. He grabbed the bottle and tossed it back onto the sand.

The bottle hit a rock and shattered into many pieces. Both Andy and Jim gasped as they saw a long, silver key on the ground in the glass shards. They looked at each other. Why didn’t it make noise when they shook the bottle? Why didn’t they see it? Andy bent over to pick up the key.

Suddenly the glass pieces came together to form a bottle again. The key was mysteriously back inside! The bottle began rolling slowly toward the ocean …

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