Tag Archives: pebbles

1975. Beach pebbles

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.”

653. Three pebbles

© Bruce Goodman 25 July 2015


(This is written for the Cherished Blogfest. It is the second of the three days of the “fest” and I have a story a day. I depart for this “fest” from my daily fiction stance to the non-fiction. Click here to find fellow bloggers blogging for the Cherished Blogfest!)

Bruce’s mother had a brother. It was the 16th of December 1944. It was early morning. There was a knock at the door.

This was the visit all dreaded. Bruce’s mother answered. Yes, no, no, yes, no. Her brother was dead; killed in the war. He was buried miles and miles away, in a foreign country; way way across waves and waves of seas. Killed? Yes. Her only brother. In Italy. Or was it France? Or Greece? Or was it North Africa?

A few years went by and Bruce was born. As an adult, he visited his uncle’s grave. He brought three pebbles home from the grave to give to his mother. She placed the pebbles on a simple piece of driftwood next to a photograph. It was like a little shrine.

Bruce’s mother is dead now. At her funeral, Bruce took the pebbles and dropped them in his mother’s grave. Three cherished pebbles from Italy. Or was it France? Or Greece? Or was it North Africa?