Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | February 24, 2008

Seaweed Part 2

Old Orchard Beach, Maine. May 19, 2004.

Old Orchard Beach Bare Feet

Part 1: The Seaweed Solution

I ran straight to Joey’s house. I had to tell someone about the ghost, and Joey was the one most likely to believe me.

Joey LaBelle lived down at the end of my street. It was a dead end, but for some reason lots of folks thought it was the way to the public beach, and at least once a day in the summer some tourist would get stuck trying to turn his SUV and boat trailer around in Joey’s driveway. It was like a regular television show. We’d watch it all from up in the pine tree, and Joey would be the announcer giving a play by play of the action

“The SUV revs it up, ladies and gentleman! Is he going to make it? I think he’s going to make it! Oh, no! The boat’s veering to the left now, to the LEFT, we’re an inch from the vegetable garden, and HERE COMES Mrs. LaBelle. She is NOT looking pleased…”

Joey wanted to be a news anchor when he grew up. I told him I’d make the big important discoveries, and he could tell the world about them. We’d be a team.

This ghost was definitely an important discovery.

“The snails were gone?” Joey asked, once I finished my story. We were sitting on his living room floor with our notebooks and the American Guide to Marine Plants and Animals.

“Well, not all of them, just the ones where the girl, I mean ghost, was standing when she disappeared.”

“Weird. Did you get a count?” Joey was in on my snail census project. We were allowed to have partners for the science fair, but last year Joey wasn’t in my science class. This year, we both had Mr. Gristwood, and we weren’t going to settle for anything but first. It was going to take the two of us and all our wits to beat Olivia Peirce.

“216 snails above the tideline before the ghost, and I only made it down half the beach. That’s about 25% more than last week.”

Joey rolled his eyes up, just like he always did when he was calculating.

“I’ll write 416 snails for today, plus one ghost.”

“Joey! The ghost can’t be in our report.”

“Why not?” Joey had already written the numbers in his notebook.

“Ghosts aren’t marine life.” It was a lame excuse. Really, I didn’t want Olivia hearing about it. She already called me PhD which I found out didn’t stand for the degree but for Puny Hippie Dork.

Sure, I was short. And I had an above average brain. But the hippie part was just too much. So what if my parents never cut their hair and both played guitar and sang kumbaya instead of going to church with everyone else? Why should Olivia care?

Anyway, I had my status in the scientific community to watch out for. Olivia may have won first place last year, but that was because her dad was a medical researcher with seven patents. He did half the project for her. I did all my own work, and everyone knew it. But if word of the ghost leaked out, I’d be finished.

Joey scratched out the word ghost from his list.

“Fine, ghosts don’t count. But you’d better tell me if she comes back. Next time you should bring her one of your famous seaweed pancakes!”



  1. yes! I love the 2nd part almost as much as the 1st part.

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