Cottrina and the Sandbox
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Cottrina who lived with her Mommy and Daddy and seven brothers and sisters. One day at school a friend told Cottrina about a gigantic sandbox in a nearby park. It sounded so amazing that she just had to see it for herself.
When she arrived at the sandbox, she could hardly believe her eyes. It was much bigger than she had imagined. There were seashells and shiny pebbles and even a few gemstones scattered throughout the piles of sand. There were also buckets, shovels, sieves and other toys that could be used to play with the sand. And there were children everywhere, laughing and building and playing in the sandbox.
Cautiously, Cottrina took her shoes off and stepped into the sandbox. The sand was warm and felt wonderful between her toes. The grains glinted in the sunlight as she let them run through her fingers. Cottrina slowly wandered through the clusters of children in the sandbox, carefully watching them. Some of them were building fantastic castles with the sand. Others were using pails to collect the seashells or pebbles. Still others sat in isolated pockets with their backs turned so that she couldn’t quite see what they were doing, which made her even more curious.
Eventually, Cottrina found a spot and settled down to play. Every day that she could, she returned to the sandbox. The sand fascinated her. If she looked at it quickly, it didn’t look very interesting. But when she started examining the individual grains closely, she could see the facets and colors that flashed from inside. They were tiny though, and her thick, clumsy fingers had trouble holding them. She tried to build a castle like the magnificent ones that she could see some of the other children working on, but it seemed that just when she would get started her Mother would call her home. With so many brothers and sisters at home, her Mother needed lots of help.
Some days it seemed easier to just content herself to play with the pebbles and shells. Many of them were just as beautiful as the sand. It was easier to put them down and run home when she was called though. If she had worked all morning on building a tower for her castle, she had a much harder time doing what her Mommy asked with a sweet spirit when she was interrupted. She couldn’t help looking at the castles with longing though.
Cottrina noticed that the children who played with the sand talked very quietly. They taught her to do the same so that her breath did not disturb the delicate sand. The children playing with the pebbles and seashells could talk more boisterously because the pebbles and shells were sturdier than the sand. The children who played with the shells and pebbles were just as much fun as the children who played with the sand. Some of them even played with both. Some of them thought the pebbles belonged on the rock pile and seashells belonged in the ocean. Cottrina had been to the rock pile once, but the children there were not nearly as nice as the children who played in the sandbox
Cottrina kept coming to the sandbox as often as she could. After a while, she was able to build a few small sandcastles. She also collected a pail of seashells and shiny pebbles. The sand was her favorite though. She knew that if she was patient, she would get better at building castles someday. She knew that she would grow up and her fingers would become long and slender. She knew that her siblings would also grow up and they would be able to help with the chores at home too. In the meantime, she dreamed of sandcastles and practiced with pebbles. As long as she could continue playing in the sandbox, she was satisfied.