The message in The Magic Shell can change and enhance your life forever . . .
This story is a gift that will last forever . . .
"The Magic Shell" is indeed a book that is an ideal keepsake for yourself or a wonderful gift for the daughters, granddaughters, sisters, nieces and special friends in your life.
The opening page offers the gift To... and From... page
with a generous area for your sentiments.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.22(d)|
|Age Range:||4 Years|
Read an Excerpt
The Magic Shell
By Mare Bowman
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Mare Bowman
All right reserved.
Chapter OneOnce upon a time ... there was a lonely little girl with no one to play with. She had no brothers or sisters. Her mother and father worked many long hours every day just to make ends meet. They rented an apartment. Her parents had never owned a home of their own. However, the little girl was happy that she lived near a beach.
She longed every day for someone to play with. But no one wanted to play with her. No one wanted to be her friend. She wasn't very pretty either, or so she thought. She felt that she looked scrawny and thin and her hair was always stringy.
She never liked having her mother brush her hair because it hurt so much just to get the tangles and knots out. It was always a painful or deal that would end with her crying and her mother mad at her. She didn't seem to pay very much attention to herself-inside or out!
She rarely remembered even laughing very much. She didn't seem to remember why she felt so alone and sad, but she knew she did.
It was awful being alone and looking out from her window, watching all the other children playing and laughing together and not inviting her to play with them. When she would go out to play with them, sometimes they would let her join in, but usually they would make fun of her and make her feel that she was not included.
Then she would go home alone, crying and sad. She always seemed to feel differently and wondered why.
She often found herself wandering around the neighborhood streets, the apartments and houses where the other children lived, hoping just to see them and maybe have one of them see her, and ask her to play with them.
Or maybe even invite her into their home to join them for dinner. Oh my, wouldn't that be great, she thought, to be together with them and having dinner with them and their families.
It was cold after the sun went down and she was usually very hungry, too, but she wouldn't go home yet. She was just so lonely that she kept looking through their windows, watching them and their families having dinner together and missed having dinners like that with her parents at her home.
Oh, don't misunderstand, her mother and father were good parents, and loved her very much. It's just that they were always so busy working, that they probably didn't even realize how lonely she was feeling and how often.
Actually, even she didn't understand her feelings and so she really didn't know how to tell her parents about them, either.
Her mother and father managed a restaurant together and worked all day in it, until it closed very late at night. The apartment where she lived was right above the restaurant so her parents were never very far from her. But still the little girl was alone most of the time.
She knew her parents really loved her, but she still felt very lonely and sad. In fact, she never really wanted for anything like dolls, toys or clothes. She had their television and her parents bought her just about anything she wanted. But when the newness wore off, she felt lonely and sad again.
Her mother and father would take turns bringing her food upstairs from the restaurant for dinner, but would leave the little girl alone again to eat by herself, while they would go back to work. It wasn't any fun eating alone. In fact it was very sad being alone a lot. The loneliness felt like a crying inside but not really crying.
Then one day, the most wonderful day of her life, she went to play on the beach by herself. She began looking for shells to collect. She always made sure she didn't take a shell that had a living critter inside, like a hermit crab or a snail. She knew it would die if she did. She never wanted to hurt anything or anybody, so she couldn't understand why nobody wanted to be her friend.
But on this day, this very special day, like all her days since, the lonely little girl found what would turn out to be one of the most sought-after, desired, and most wonderful gifts in the entire world.
As she searched the beach, she came upon a damaged shell. It wasn't very pretty and so she didn't want it. It had apparently been on the beach alone for a very long, long time. It had survived many storms and tides, many summers and winters. It had been tossed and thrown, beaten and broken.
Over the years, all the perfect shells would be picked up readily by the many children and shell-seekers for their collections.
But this shell's fate was to remain by itself, picked up and discarded time and time again, year after year.
And, again on this day the little shell, alone, awaiting its fate.
As she started to lay it back in the sand, something about it caught her attention. She didn't know what could be so special about this shell, why it would hold her attention like this, being imperfect and all. But something about it did intrigue her.
At that moment, she became flooded with all the same feelings of being alone and not having anyone who would play with her. She began to realize what the broken shell would feel like if she, like all the others in the past, discarded it again.
With that in mind, she decided to keep the shell and do something special with it. Make it pretty. In fact, she wanted to make it beautiful. Although the little shell was broken and not like all the whole and pretty shells she could have picked, there was something very interesting about it. She didn't know yet what it was.
She also noticed a very small hole in the top of the shell and she thought, In the meantime, while I'm making you more desirable and pretty, I can put some string through you and make a necklace for myself. Then I could keep you with me always.
She started to get very excited and feeling happy about finding this unusual broken shell. She liked what she was feeling. She then made what would be the most important decision of her life. She decided, at that moment, she wanted to feel like this every day from then on, rather than feeling lonely and unhappy like she has known because she had no friends.
You see, now she had her shell, something other than herself to think about, and it was all she thought she needed to feel happy from then on.
"What shall I do for you today to make you more beautiful?" she said to the shell. "Instead of a piece of string, someday I'll find a way to display you on a strand of gold. The sparkle of it will shimmer and glisten around you like the light of the sun. Perhaps I can trim you in gold, too."
The shell was so happy to have been found and kept by this wonderful little girl, who truly saw the beauty in the imperfect shell, the shell decided, "Since I am a gift of the sea, I must somehow find a way to be a gift to this little girl."
So as the girl decided to make the shell more beautiful and happy, the shell decided to make the girl more beautiful and happy.
This then was the beginning of their quest together. They each had a purpose in life now. They each began to wake up every morning full of passion and excitement: The girl desiring to find a way to earn the strand of gold from which to hang the shell and the shell desiring to make the girl more beautiful and happy.
Something wonderful was beginning to happen, for as each day began with a quest, a passion, a purpose in their lives, each day became more interesting for both the girl and the shell.
Each day they grew with anticipation and wonder. They grew with learning.
For it was truly the purpose that began to make each more beautiful and happy. The girl, focusing on her want of a strand of gold for the shell, no longer worried why she had no friends. She no longer felt lonely.
She woke up cheerful now every day. Her thoughts were no longer of her not being pretty, or without friends and feeling lonely. She no longer saw herself as being scrawny with stringy hair anymore.
Her thoughts were now of her travels and where her search would take her to find just the right strand of gold for the shell.
The children, who used to make fun of her or ignore her, were now beginning to wonder about her. She seemed to be different.
She seemed stronger, more independent, even confident. They no longer had power over her to make her feel sad. Somehow they had lost their power to make her feel lonely and unwanted.
This certainly aroused their curiosity. All of a sudden, they began to be attracted to her because she no longer needed them or their attention. They could see she was happy and excited and now they wanted to be around her.
The girl was amazed that now she began to have all these friends, without even trying. She knew she didn't look any different. She couldn't imagine why they now wanted to be with her and play with her.
Had the shell's desire to return a gift to me, begin to make me more pretty? she thought.
Actually, she was beginning to feel prettier. She really liked what she was feeling and liked herself for it, too. She liked the freedom of where her thoughts were now taking her.
Her thoughts were no longer on her loneliness but on her far-away travels to find the perfect strand of gold for the shell. The shell was indeed very pleased, too, for now it was giving its gift to the girl. How wonderful it was for both of them.
As the years passed, the girl finished school. She learned several languages and became very good in business. All because she knew that to find the right strand of gold for the shell, she would have to.
She would need to be financially secure to travel all those far-away places in her search. And a good education would be her ticket to help her in her quest.
The shell, all this time, hung around the girl's neck. She had replaced the first piece of string with a pretty ribbon.
She now had thousands of beautiful and colorful ribbons to match everything and anything she would wear.
Her business was growing beyond her wildest imagination. So much so, that now she had many people wanting to know her or even work for her. There were so many people now who wanted to have her as a friend.
Over the years, the girl continued to enhance the shell. Not only was she interchanging it with all the beautiful ribbons to match her clothes, she enhanced it by painting gold trim all around the edges of the shell.
She had also smoothed out all the rough and broken edges before applying the gold trim. The shell was indeed becoming more beautiful just as the girl promised.
Since that day on the beach when she started to wear the shell, the girl was always able to choose wisely those who would be her friends; those who would not want to hurt her or make fun of her, but would be supportive of her, as she would be of them; those who didn't laugh at her purpose to find the perfect strand of gold for the shell, but encouraged her and would even give her some very good ideas to help her find it.
She became known as the beautiful girl with the shell necklace.
As stories spread around the world of this remarkable girl, now a well-renowned businesswoman who always wore a damaged shell around her neck, the legend developed that indeed the shell was magic. It had to be!
It must have been because of this magic that she was so successful. Obviously, she had a lot of money and could afford a diamond around her neck, so what other reason could there be for her to wear a broken shell, unless it was magic.....
It was this magic that caused her to become more beautiful than even she ever imagined and it was the magic of the shell that caused her to become one of the happiest and richest women in the world.
The legend traveled far and wide. Now presidents, CEO's, kings and queens, heads of states, and large corporations wanted to know this woman and get close to her magic shell. Employers wanted their employees to learn from this woman who was so successful in business.
They invited her to speak to their companies. They invited her to their huge homes, castles, and grand estates in many faraway cities and lands. She flew in their private planes, sailed on their private yachts, and stayed in their beautiful mansions just because they wanted to be around her.
She was not only a beautiful person but was wonderful to talk to. She made everyone feel important. Everyone said she was one of the nicest people they had ever met. They liked being around her and seeing the magic shell around her neck.
They would talk with her for hours, delighting in her story of finding and almost throwing away the broken shell. She told them how she realized what it felt like to be discarded and passed over, and of her desire to make the shell more beautiful, which in turn, had caused her to become a more beautiful person.
She told them of how, that special day, she decided to change how she felt and thought about things from then on. And that decision indeed was the true magic of the broken shell.
Among the guests at one particular gathering was one of the most prominent businessmen whose name was known around the world. He owned two of the largest entertainment companies, two giant computer corporations, and a dozen of the largest dairy and cattle ranches in the world. His vast holdings spread worldwide and his large mansions and estates were known by everyone.
After hearing the woman's story, he asked her if she would consider making some time out of her busy schedule to meet his daughter. He told the woman that his daughter was feeling lonely and unhappy, too, and that she had been this way for a very long time. He said that his daughter's sadness made him very distraught and unhappy as well.
He desperately told her that he loved his daughter so very much and wanted for her to be a happy person, but even though he was one of the wealthiest businessmen around, he still didn't know what to do.
The woman was delighted to give of her time. It seemed the more she helped others, the more success came her way, without even asking for it.
Much like that day when she first found the shell on the beach, the more attention she gave her purpose the more the other children wanted to be around her. It came to pass that the more she gave, the more she received. Of course she always made sure she was happy herself first.
You see, this became the second most important lesson she was to learn from the magic of the shell: she knew that if she gave of herself, but never took care of herself, or did not allow herself to have or do the things she wanted, that one day there would be nothing left of her to give, and she would again be unhappy, and lonely, and very sad.
She would never let that happen ever again. She learned that the more she took care of herself, the more energy she had to do good things for others. The happier she was, the more happiness she could give to others. The more love she had for herself, the more love she could then give to others. And best of all, she would never need anything back from them. All the while she could remain a nice person.
She knew it was not being selfish if she took care of herself and her needs. That was the importance of taking care of herself, and being good to herself and to remain happy. You see, she also learned that day on the beach that she couldn't depend on the other children to make her happy. She realized that she, and only she, was the one who could ever make that change.
What a wonderful gift from the shell that was. The shell had actually given her two gifts that day, one was a purpose for her life and the other was creating her decision to change the way she thought about things. Thoughts that now would make her happy rather than sad.
The businessman was delighted and so grateful that the woman accepted his request. He had been so broken-hearted that his daughter was so unhappy and feeling lonely.
Her unhappiness caused him to be unhappy, which affected all of his holdings and all of his corporations of people who depended on him. His unhappiness, in turn, caused all of his employees to be very unhappy as well.
No matter what gifts were given to his daughter, she never really seemed quite satisfied. Beautiful gifts could not make her happy.
Excerpted from The Magic Shell by Mare Bowman Copyright © 2011 by Mare Bowman. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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