Talespin Children

How Christopher the crab changed his mind about the way he walked

Christopher and Columbus were two crabs that lived by the sea. They were the best of friends and one could always see them holding claws and doing their sideways walk together.

One day Christopher said, “I wish I could walk forward rather than sideways.”

“What a preposterous idea,” said Columbus, who always used big words.

“It is not pre-pos-te-rous,” shot back Christopher. “I just want like to walk forwards like everybody else.”

“But what is wrong with moving sideways? I think it’s grand. Do you know very few animals can move sideways? Just us, the rattlesnakes and the little hummingbirds. That’s what makes us stupendous! Of course, now that I think about it octopuses can move in any direction with those eight dangly legs….”

Why blend in?

But Christopher was not listening. “Stupendous? Is that another word for stupid? Because, that’s how I feel. When everybody walks forwards, why do we have to walk sideways and look stupid?”

“Stupendous means amazing. And I think you are amazing just the way you are.”

“I don’t want to be amazing. I want to blend in and be normal,” said Christopher.

“Blend in?” asked Columbus. “But we do blend in. Just the other day, I was admiring the sunrise, and an early morning jogger almost squashed me with his big feet. He didn’t see me because I am the colour of the sand. I managed to jump sideways in the nick of time.”

But Christopher was sad. He really wanted to walk forwards.

“There are many advantages to walking sideways. You must celebrate your uniqueness,” Columbus said.

How Christopher the crab changed his mind about the way he walked

Suddenly, they heard someone shout. “Help, help!”

It was a baby seagull. Her leg was stuck between two rocks. Many birds were trying to put their beak into the gap between the rocks but they could not reach the baby’s leg. “Oh, someone help,” cried the mother seagull.

Christopher rushed to the rescue. He knew he could help because he had a flat body. He entered the crack sideways. Soon, with his legs that were placed on the sides of his body, he nudged the seagull out of the wedge. The baby seagull was free!

“Thank you,” said the mother seagull gratefully. “If you hadn’t been able to wiggle in sideways, nobody could have helped my baby.”

“It was my pleasure, said Christopher, shyly.

“I wish I could move sideways like you. I wish I had my legs on the side,” said the baby seagull.

“Oh, you are amazing just the way you are. Be careful now,” waved Christopher and walked away. He searched for his friend with his beady eyes. Christopher found Columbus watching the sun set. “Well, my friend,” said Columbus with a smile.

“I know, I know. We are all unique creatures. If I couldn’t walk sideways, I could not have helped the seagull today,” said Christopher, laughing.

“That’s right. Now, how about a nice sideways walk down the beach.”

“Gladly,” said Columbus. And off they went into the sunset, holding claws.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 10:37:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/how-christopher-the-crab-changed-his-mind-about-the-way-he-walked/article33789137.ece

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