A Day at the Beach

“What do you want to do today?” asked Lavender.

“Well, I was thinking. What do you think about taking a trip to the beach? Sebastian has never been, and it would be nice to see and hear the waves again.” replied Lady Bear.

“Oh, how wonderful! Lady, you always have the bestest ideas! Sebastian will love it! I think I’ll invite Cassie! She would love to go, I just know it!” exclaimed the little bear.

So preparations began for the trip. Lady Bear worked on packing the clothing, towels and assorted other articles to keep them comfortable on the beach. Lavender gathered the picnic basket and prepared sandwiches. Then she ran up the river to the faerie meadow and invited Cassie along. An invitation Cassie gladly excepted. Sebastian was put in charge of gathering the umbrellas, shovels and buckets needed for playing in the sand.

Soon, the preparations were complete and the small group was ready to depart. Lady Bear and Lavender were to ride on Sebastian’s back for the duration of the trip, while Cassy would fly along side. The little bears and the dryad worked vigorously to pack all the items on Sebastian’s large back while Sebastian fidgeted and mumbled about not knowing whether it was worse to be a beast of burden or public transportation. Truth be told, Sebastian was just impatient to get started. It wasn’t long, however, until everything was stowed and the bears were in there places.

“Okay, now that everyone is strapped down, let’s get started!” said Sebastian enthusiastically. He turned his head into the wind and was preparing for a massive leap that would have provided the initial momentum to bring them airborne, when a large purple primate dropped out of the tree.

“Oooo, oooo, ooo,” grunted Purple Monkey. “Where you goin? I was hopin you might be in da mood for some iceceeeeemmm!” he stated and held up a large bunch of bananas that were perfectly ripe.

“I’m sorry, but we’re going to the beach today, and we don’t have time to make ice cream,” stated Lady Bear.

The poor little ape’s face became abjectly downtrodden. His despair was written so plainly on his face, it would have been amusing to any but these kind souls. Rather than laugh, Lady Bear looked at her friend and adopted son in a questioning way. Both immediately gave a nod.

“Perhaps, if you have nothing you’d rather do, you might like to join us?” asked Lady Bear hopefully. Purple Monkey was a bit uncouth, but he was a good friend and always hilarious to have around.

The ape’s face mercurial face changed instantaneously from a mirror of despair to the personification of rapture. He started bouncing in place. “Wooo, ooo, ooo! Yes, Purple Monkey want to come. Purple Monkey loves the beach! Purple Monkey will be much good company for little bears and big dragooon!!” effervesced Purple Monkey as he scampered up on Sebastian’s back and grabbed hold of the panniers.

Soon the intrepid little band was flying over the river and making good time to the coast. Cassie flew on ahead to find the perfect beach spot and search for pretty shells.

In less time than one would think, Sebastian gently touched down on the beach. and lowered himself onto his stomach so his passengers could disembark. Soon the baskets and other sundry supplies were unloaded and the friends began enjoying themselves.

Purple Monkey and Sebastian couldn’t resist hitting the surf. Cassie had collected a large pile of shells and Lavender was happily going through them with her. Lady Bear calmly set up one of the umbrellas and settled down with a book that had been calling to her for ages.

Lady Bear kept a watch on her son and the purple primate as they drifted farther from shore, and she reflected that it was nice not to have to worry about Sebastian going out to far, because he could always fly back. As she read, she noticed that the two friends had almost reached the sandbar that paralleled the coast.

As she turned back to her novel, she lost sight of them for a bit, and was thus surprised when Sebastian dropped Purple Monkey lightly beside her and then landed.

“Wise Mother! We have discovered another beach goer! He is on the sandbar and seems to be a bit peculiar,” reported the young dragon.

“What do you mean, ‘peculiar’?” asked Lady Bear.

“Well, when we asked him his name, he just said, “I’m an iceberg,” and wouldn’t say anything else. Do you think maybe the sun has got to him? Gentle Mother always says to stay out of the sun you know,” replied Sebastian a bit breathlessly.

“Well, let’s all go see!” said Lady Bear as they gathered up Lavender and Cassie and headed for the sandbar.

Upon arriving, they met a young bear cub who had the most amazing royal blue fur. Lavender excitedly walked up to him and introduced the group.

“Hi, I’m Lavender, and these are my friends Lady Bear, Cassie and Purple Monkey, and this is my son, Sebastian,” she proudly stated.

The little cub looked at her, looked at the rest, then looked back at Lavender and stated, “I’m an iceberg.”

Lavender was a little startled by the strange bear, so Lady Bear took over.

“Well, even if you are an iceberg, iceberg is not your name. I’m sure you were raised to be polite, and it is only polite to give your name in return when names have been given,” stated the little bear.

The little blue cub’s lip started to tremble a bit and he looked down, rather shamefaced. “Um, know ma’am, you are correct my name isn’t iceberg. Most people call me Rhino because I’m blue and they say I’m tough.”

“Very good, Rhino,” replied Lady Bear, “now, how would you like to join us on the beach for lunch and some games?”

“Well, I would, but you see, I’m trying to be an iceberg, and iceberg’s don’t move,” said Rhino plaintively. “If I give up now, I would be quitting, and I don’t want to be a quitter.”

“Well, since we are near the tropics, and icebergs don’t come into these waters, I don’t see how you can be an iceberg. Maybe, you could be a sandberg instead, and a sandberg could be on the beach as easily as on this lonely sandbar,” reasoned Lady Bear.

“That’s a great idea!” enthused Rhino, and they all happily returned to the beach.

The ate lunch and for the rest of the afternoon played a variety of games. They played three on three volleyball, and tossed a frisbie around. The boys played with a football out in the surf, and everyone generally had a wonderful time.

As the afternoon wore on and evening approached, other beach goers started to arrive, and a baseball game was started. Luckily, Sebastian never traveled without his glove, and had brought several others along as well. Sebastian, Purple Monkey, Rhino and Cassie all went over to join a game, while Lavender and Lady Bear sat on the sidelines to cheer.

The game was a very good game. Sebastian, with his long neck and large body made a great short stop. Purple Monkey’s acrobatic abilities made him an unbelievable outfielder and Cassie had full command of her fastball, her curveball, and all her off speed stuff. Surprisingly though, it was the little blue bear cub that completely stole the show. At second base, he was a force to be reckoned with. He filled the gap like no second baseman ever had, and with the help of Sebastian turned some truly amazing double plays. At bat he was a natural, he hit to left, to right, and dead away center. He was an RBI machine, and could even steal bases with the best of them!

All in all, it was a wonderful game. As the players left the field the stars were beginning to be shine and the fireflies were becoming visible.

The friends quickly packed their belongings back on to Sebastian and got ready to go home. Before leaving, however, they made sure to ask Rhino where he lived, and were happily surprised to find his abode was not far from their own. He was planning on staying at the beach for a few more days however, so he refused their offer of a flight back home.

“I had a very nice time, and hope that we can all play baseball again,” said Rhino.

Lady Bear just smiled at him, “Rhino, I’m sure there will be many more games, but I have to tell you, I will never forget the day I first saw Rhino the Sandberg playing second base!”

And with that Sebastian took off and faded against the night sky.

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