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Harry the Hermit Crab

By: Angie Ashbery

Harry the hermit crab lived in New York City. It was a beautiful city. People rushed by, cars zoomed past and the lights were bright and beautiful. Harry didn't know this though. He was scared to come out of his shell.

Harry heard about all the wonderful things he was missing. He had many friends who would drift by and yell inside his shell. Each day something new was going on and Harry's pals would stop to tell him about it.

On one particular day, Harry was more scared than ever. He woke up to a loud booming sound coming from the sky. Soon he saw flashes of light and then his shell began to get wet. Harry didn't know what was happening. Was a lady watering her flowers? Was the sky falling? Harry was very scared! .

Soon, one of his good friends, Mr. Smelly the sewer rat, went strolling by. "Mr. Smelly," yelled Harry. "Get back into the sewer! The world is coming to an end!" .

Mr. Smelly slowly turned to Harry and said, "The world is not coming to an end, Harry. It's only raining." .

"What's rain?" asked Harry.

Mr. Smelly looked at Harry in surprise. "You don't know what rain is? You need to come out of your shell more often! You're missing so much!" .

"I will never come out of my shell," said Harry. "The world is too scary for me." .

"Suit yourself,"said Mr. Smelly. "But you're really missing out." He continued on his way.

"I don't care what that silly old rat says," thought Harry. "He'll be sorry." .

Harry sat in his shell for over an hour, watching the rain fall and fearing for his life. Eventually, the rain calmed down and Harry was relieved. People began their daily trips and the city became alive once again.

Soon, the wind began to blow and Harry was scared again. It almost felt like his shell was going to be carried away. As Harry looked out of his shell, he saw his friend Blue Jay. "Blue!" yelled Harry. "Get back quickly. Go to your nest or you will be blown away!" .

"No need to worry," said Mr. Jay. "The wind is not strong today and it feels good on my feathers. You should come out and feel it sometime." .

"I will never come out of my shell," said Harry. "The world is too scary for me." .

"Suit yourself, Harry," said Blue as he continued his walk down the street.

"I don't care what they all say," thought Harry. "I'm just being careful," and he sank back deeper into his shell.

Soon it was time for Harry to eat lunch. As he slinked into the grass, he noticed a ladybug. Being a very curious bug, she said, "Why are you always in that shell? I never see you come out." .

"I'm protecting myself from the scary world," said Harry seriously.

"The world isn't scary," claimed ladybug. "Sure there are bad things and mean people but the good things are all around you. You should take the time to look outside." .

"Really?" asked Harry. "But what about all the people walking around, the wind blowing me away and something called rain that gets everything wet?" .

"The people are walking to work or to school and living their busy lives. The rain is soft and the wind feels good on my face. Come outside your shell, Harry. I promise I'll stay right here with you." .

"O.K. If you promise," said Harry. Slowly and carefully, Harry picked up his head and poked his eyes out of his shell. What he saw was amazing! Since he had only seen people's feet, he was surprised because they actually had bodies and faces. Not one of them was alike. There were big ones, small ones, happy ones and serious ones. There were people running everywhere. Harry just stared in wonder.

Looking around, Harry saw trees and flowers and he knew about the things his friends told him of. Other little animals scurried around and Harry wanted to be one of them.

"Wow!" exclaimed Harry. "I never knew the city was so wonderful! I've missed so much. How can I ever thank you, ladybug? You made me realize that the world is not such a scary place. It's beautiful and bright and busy and I love it!" .

"Come with me, Harry," said Ladybug. "The world is such a huge, beautiful place and you've just begun to see it." .

Harry turned and with eyes still full of wonder and amazement, followed Ladybug down the street.

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