The two buckets sat side by side on the sand. Mine was blue with a shark on the side but it was a cartoon shark with a smiley face. Gemma’s was orange with a crab waving its pincers high in the air. I liked mine best but it would have been better with a picture of a real shark.
Gemma’s bucket was full to the top of shells. She had been collecting them all morning. She stood there with her chest out and her nose in the air like this was some incredible thing that she had done. But if you looked at her bucket, I mean really looked, the shells were nothing special. Lots of them were broken, only bits of shells really and they were all still covered in wet sand. Her bucket looked a bit like the bottom of a concrete mixer.
‘Oh well done Gemma darling,’ mummy said. ‘How gorgeous they are.’ But she didn’t really look. She didn’t see the big stone at the bottom that made the bucket look full.
‘Oh James,’ she said. ‘Just one shell?’ and she walked away.
But my shell was perfect. A caramel twist with a pale pink centre. 

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