There weren’t that many wave-worn pebbles on the beach. The beach was mainly sand. But there were enough pebbles for Otis to walk the beach and fill his not-so-big cotton bag.
The not-so-big cotton bag was also, in fact, not-so-small. Once it had been filled with pebbles (each between one and two inches big) the bag was considerably heavy. He should have started at the far end of the beach and worked his way back towards the carpark. But now he had to lumber the heavy bag all the way along the beach to reach his car.
“Never mind,” he thought. “I’ll make my way back slowly, without overdoing it, punctuated by many rests!”
Some of the pebbles were rather beautiful, especially when wet. The variation in colour was amazing. Some were clearly marble, worn down and polished. Others were simply grey rock, but they were important because they provided a contrast to the lovelier stones. Not everything ordinary is out of place. In fact, without the ordinary pebbles the multi-coloured pebbles would possibly look gaudy.
By now, Otis must have carried the bag for about half of the return walk. He stopped to rest.
The tide was coming in, and the bag carrying was made more difficult because he had to walk higher up on the beach in the dry and loose sand. Walking and carrying was definitely more challenging. But he had all the time in the world!
It was when Otis was only a stone’s throw from the carpark that the not-so-big, not-so-small cotton bag tore asunder. All his collected pebbles fell out into the sand. He had no other container to put them in.
“Blow it!” he thought. “I shall have to collect the pebbles next time, and next time I shall start at the far end of the beach.”