The sand felt so good in between seven year old Robbie’s toes as he squished his feet deep into ir. The castle that he had been working on all day was almost finished! To him it was a palace, it was so tall! It towered over him. It kept getting bigger and bigger.
He was tired, but he wanted to get this done before they left the beach and headed back home. He couldn’t wait to show his mother what a job he had done! He was so proud of the work he did! There was even a draw bridge where his very own army of men could ride their horses back and forth to safety.
“Come on men!” He said in a deep voice as if he were the captain, “we’ll attack the British by dawn! Load the cannons!”
Robbie laughed out loud as a cannon ball made out of sand came flying across, hitting the castle right in front of them. He made loud booming sounds with his voice.
“Take cover! We’re being invaded!”
“Then prepare to face the consequences!”
Another ball of sand came hurling toward the castle. To Robbie, the castle was indestructible. Nothing could destroy it. The men were safe here in their hideaway. They could lay low and reload their cannons for the next battle.
Robbie continued to dig with his bare hands. He clawed his way through, adding even more rooms to his castle. He had the whole beach to build. It was going to be the biggest sand castle you had ever seen! If this was a contest, he would surely win first prize!
The army gathered around him, waiting for his next command. The bad guys were close. They didn’t have a minute to spare. He had to think quickly, trying to decide what their next attack was.
“There’s too many of them,” the deep voice came once again. “We don’t have enough ammo to make it. Save yourselves!”
Robbie made more booming sounds one right after the other. Still, the castle stood high. There were cracks in the walls, and the foundation was crooked. Still, it was a good fortress. It wasn’t going down without a fight.
“Sir, what if we attacked them at night? We could take them by surprise and seize their weapons.”
“Good thinking, soldier!”
Robbie backed his way into the water. Waves lapped furiously up against him. He was getting completely soaked. He turned around and continued to tunnel down the shoreline.
“Here comes the cannons! Run! Run for your lives!” Robbie hit the sand with his fist. Rocks and sand were sent flying.
“We’re dying. We’re not going to make it, sir. We were hit too badly.”
“Don’t say that!” Robbie smiled. He was having too much fun with this. This was almost better than TV. Almost. “I never lose a man! Do you hear me?! You are not going to die! I won‘t let you!”
“I’m losing way too much blood.” You could hear the aggravation in his voice. “Just leave me behind.”
“Never! I’ll carry you if I have to!”
Robbie giggled even more. The sand castle was just about completed. He didn’t know what else he could build. He had everything he needed for his army.
He finally stood up and wiped the dirt from off of his knees. He nodded with a satisfactory smile.
“Perfect,” he exclaimed.
He ran up the hill to where his mother was sitting on a beach towel with his sister and father.
“Just in time for lunch,” the mother told him. “Would you like a ham or a turkey sandwich, Robbie?”
“Mom! You gotta come see this! You gotta come see what I built!” He tugged at her arm, but she wouldn’t budge.
“Give me a second. I have to feed your sister first.”
Robbie looked back at the castle. He was keeping an eye on it, making sure no one touched al of his hard work. If someone even came close to it, he would kick their butt.
“Mom! Please! Come take a look at it,” he pleaded.
“All right. All right. I’m coming, son.”
Robbie jumped up and took her by the hand. They hurried down the bank. He stopped dead his tracks and swerved around. The sand castle was gone.
“Well? What is it you wanted to show me?” The mother asked.
Robbie pointed to the ground, “it was right here. I know I am in the right spot. I have to be.”
The mother looked down. She couldn’t help but smile. “It was here, see?” She pointed to it. “It looks like the tide came in.”
Robbie’s heart sank when he saw the muddy mess around him. This wasn’t fair. All of his hard work - gone. Wiped out by a single wave.
“You can build again. Can’t you?” The mother asked his son.
Sure. Sure, he could build again. It wouldn’t be the same. His army was buried underneath the sand. He couldn’t get to them. They were trapped. Robbie looked helpless. He didn’t know what to do.
He thought for sure the cannons would get to them first. Cannons didn’t wipe out his palace.
It was the tide that sunk them.