Illustration: Sreejith R. Kumar

Illustration: Sreejith R. Kumar   | Photo Credit: Illustration: Sreejith R. Kumar

The Shell Princess is trapped on land and her shell has been stolen by Revathi, a menace. Will young Aman and Avni be able to help the princess return home?

Siblings Aman and Avni, with their cousins Ronny and Rina, walked to the beach, carrying a bucket of water, a small spade and an empty tub. Though it was late afternoon, the usually harsh sun had now hidden behind the clouds.

After choosing their spot, Aman and Rina starting building a sand castle, while Avni and Ronny strolled down the beach in search of seashells. Their grandfather watched them from the porch of his house. He had given them strict instructions not to go near the water.

“There are so many shells in this part of the beach,” Ronny said, picking the shells from the sand.

“Some of these shells are so beautiful,” Avni dropped a handful of shells into the bucket. “See this,” she exclaimed, holding a large pink shell in her hand.

“It’s gorgeous,” Ronny said.

Avni placed it carefully inside the bucket. Soon, the bucket was filled with different coloured shells.

Ronny and Avni walked towards Aman and Rina, they had built a sand castle, complete with a moat around it.

“I’ll decorate the castle with these shells,” Avni said. She started sticking the white shells into the castle. “Now, where do I put this?” she waved the large pink shell in her hand.


A tiny creature tumbled out onto her wrist, from inside the shell. The small girl, half the size of Avni’s hand, dressed in white robes, waved her hand, as though trying to draw their attention.

“Who are you?” Avni stammered, dropping the pink shell on the sand.

“I’m Shellonella, the shell princess, I live under the sea,” she replied.

A girl playing nearby crept towards Avni’s group, grabbing a handful of shells from their collection, she ran away. “Finders keepers, losers weepers,” she waved the pink shell from far.

“Ignore her,” Rina said. “She is our neighbour Revathi, a big nuisance.”

“What are you doing here?” Aman stared in fascination at Shellonella.

“I was sleeping inside my pink shell. I think my shell must have got entangled in an underwater plant and swept ashore when a wave hit the beach,” Shellonella replied. “I must get back underwater before sunset, else I’ll be stuck on the beach,” she moaned.

The sun had moved to the west, as though it was in a hurry to set.

“We can put you inside a shell and place you back in water,” Ronny said.

“That girl has stolen my pink shell, I can only survive underwater inside it,” Shellonella groaned. “Now I can’t return home.”

In the distance, another strong wave gathered speed, moving closer towards the beach.

Striking the beach, the wave receded, leaving behind a residue of grey shells. Small creatures, wearing grey robes, crawled out of the shells, moving towards them at lightening speed.

“My guards have come in search of me,” Shellonella’s eyes lit up.

“Princess,” the guards bowed. “The royal family has sent us to bring you back underwater. The sun is going to set soon.”

“A girl in that group has stolen the pink shell from us,” Aman pointed to the noisy children playing nearby.

“We must retrieve it,” the guards said.

“Revathi won’t part with it,” Rina looked grim.

“Let’s play a trick on her,” Avni said. “Ronny and Rina will stroll towards the other end of the beach and try to distract Revathi and her friends. Aman will watch over the guards and Shellonella, while I’ll get the pink shell back from her,” she said.


Rina and Ronny ambled past Revathi, feigning disinterest in the stolen shell. Reaching the far end of the beach, they screamed, “Aman, Avni come here quickly, there are many pink shells here,” bending down they picked a few shells from the sand.

Seeing Revathi and her gang run towards her cousins, Avni darted forward, picking up the pink shell from Revathi’s towel, she ran towards her brother.

The sun was now very low in the west. It was a race against time.

“Run fast, Aman!” Shellonella urged. She was sitting on his shoulder.

Grabbing the pink shell from his sister’s hand, Aman dropped Shellonella on it. Waving goodbye, she quickly crawled inside it. As the guards crept back inside the grey shells, Rina scooped up the grey shells in her hands.

In the distant a wave was sweeping towards the beach. Aman placed the pink shell at the edge of the beach, while Rina dropped the grey shells with the guards inside them.

Both retreated towards the beach, watching the wave build up its momentum.

The wave hit the beach. As the water receded, sweeping the pink shell and the grey shells to the bottom of the sea, the last bit of sunlight faded from the sky.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 1:23:13 PM |

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