Once upon a time, there was a small boy called Hari. He was strong and loved to tease all the boys and loved tease all the boys and girls who went to school with him. What he loved to do the most was to pinch others. He could make a big bruise appear in half a second. Another trick he played was pricking people with a pin.
So you can guess how all the children hated him. They tried pincing him back, but that was not good because he could always pinch much harder. They did not like telling their teacher, because that was telling tales.
It so happened that the class went for a picnic to the seaside for a whole day. All the children were most excited.
On that day, the sun shone bright, and all the children were wild with excitement. They crowded into a train and sat down but nobody wanted to sit next to Hari because he always pinched them.
When they arrived at the seaside, out jumped all the children with a shout of joy. Down to sands they raced, hand, but nobody took Hari's hand. Nobody went near him.
Hary was angry. He went to an isolated sandy corner near a rocky pool and sat down by himself. He took out his lunch and looked at it.
'Wow! It is a good lunch.' There were two hard-boiled eggs, six jam sandwiches, three pieces of bread and butter, a ginger cake and a bar of chocolate. He would eat it all by himself. He would not offer anything to anyone.
Just as he was beginning with an egg, he heard a hoarse voice near him. 'Good morning! I am so pleased to meet a boy like you.' Hari turned around and stared in fright.
- Why was Hari alone?
- Why was he frightened?
- What do you think he saw?
Hari saw a monster crab walking sideways out of the pool. His eyes were on the ends of the short stalks and he looked most queer. He held out his front claw to Hari. Hari put out his hand to shake the crab's claw, but to his surprise and anger the crab opened his pinchers and nipped his hands so hard that the little boy yelled.
'Ah, here is my good cousin,' said the crab pleasntly, and to Hari's horror, he saw a large sandy lobster crawling heavily out of the pool. Before Hari could stop him, the lobster took his hand in his great pincher like claws and pinched it so hard that he yelled in pain.
Do you think anyone came to his help?
Then he started at the pool in surprixe, for out came sandy-coloured shrimps and prawns, more crabs, and another large lobster and they pricked Hari till he was soon black and blue with their pinching.
'Don't you like it?' said all the creatures in surprise, 'Why, we were told, you would live to see us because you were a champion picnher and pricker yourself. Come, come and join the fun!'
Hary leapt to his feet, crying loudly. His lunch rolled into the pool, and when the crabs and lobsters saw it, they ran to it and began to feast eagerly. Hari saw that they had forgotten him for a time, and he turned and ran for his life, tears streaming down his cheeks. Hari ran and sat near a rock thinking.
They only did to me what I keep doing to other children. But how it hurts! And how I hated those crabs and lobsters! I suppose the other children hate me too, 'I shall not pinch or prick anyone anymore.'