by Kelly Kathleen Ness
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in the ocean. Well, she wasn’t a little girl at all – she was a Sea Horse!
The little seahorse’s name was Sally, and she was the cutest, sweetest, friendliest seahorse in the whole ocean.
Sally had many brothers and sisters, and her mother loved all of them very much. Every night when she tucked them into bed, Sally’s mom would read them a bedtime story.
The bedtime stories were all very nice, but there was one that Sally liked the best – it was about a Unicorn!
“But, Mom,” Sally said, “What’s a Unicorn, anyway?”
“Well, Sally,” her mom said after thinking for a very long time. “I think it’s a special kind of horse. A magic horse, with a long golden horn in the middle of his forehead!”
“Oh!” cried Sally, thinking about a seahorse with a horn on it’s head. “Can I be a Unicorn when I grow up?”
Sally’s mother laughed and hugged Sally tightly. “No, you silly girl,” her mother said. “Unicorns aren’t sea-horses, they are land-horses!”
“Oh,” Sally said, feeling very sad. She wanted to be a Unicorn so much!
The next morning, Sally got out of bed with her brothers and sisters and forgot to be sad. She swam and and laughed with her sisters, and played hide-and-seek with her brothers.
While Sally was hiding from her brothers during their game of hide-and-seek, she got lost in a forest of seaweed! It was dark and spooky and Sally got scared. She wished her mother was there to tell her a story so it would be ok.
Just then, Sally saw a shiny bit of light in the distance, between the seaweed leaves. Could she have found her way out? She swam very fast towards the light… but she never seemed to be able to catch it!
After a few minutes of swimming so fast and chasing the light, Sally got tired and decided to rest on a seaweed stump. Missing her mother and her brothers and sisters, Sally began to cry.
“Why are you crying?” someone asked.
Sally looked up and saw some seaweed branches move as if someone was hiding behind them. She sniffled.
“I’m crying because I’m lost and I miss my family,” Sally said. “Why are you hiding?”
“I am afraid you’ll laugh at me if you see me,” said the voice.
“I won’t laugh,” Sally promised. “I’m very lonely so I’d like to be able to see you.”
“Ok,” said the someone. “I’m coming out.”
Out of the shadows swam the most beautiful creature Sally had ever seen. It was a tiny fish with long fins that looked like wings, and it’s body was covered in silver scales that reflected even the dim light in the seaweed forest. Glitter seemed to shine in the water around it as it swam.
Sally’s eyes got very big as she looked at the little fish. This was the source of the light Sally had been chasing!
“What are you?” Sally asked, “I’ve never seen anything as beautiful or wonderful as you!”
The little fish perked up, pleased by Sally’s compliments. “Why, thank you! I am a Fairy Fish, my name is Fiona! No one but you has ever called me beautiful before.”
“That’s silly,” said Sally. “Anyone who looked at you could see how beautiful you are!”
Fiona the Fairy Fish smiled happily at Sally. “What’s your name?”
“My name is Sally,” said Sally. “I’m a seahorse. But not a Sea Unicorn, Unicorns are only on land.”
“That’s silly,” said Fiona the Fairy Fish. “I see your horn growing in right now!”
Sally reached up with a fin and felt her forehead. Fiona was right! There WAS a horn starting to grow there! Wait till Sally got home to show her mom!
Suddenly Sally got sad again. She missed her mom. “I wish I could find my way home,” Sally said.
Fiona the Fairy Fish swam around Sally very fast, sprinkling glitter all over Sally the Sea Unicorn. “Your wish is granted! Just follow your horn!”
Sally felt the Fairy Fish’s magic start to work, and suddenly she took off swimming straight ahead through the forest. Her horn pointed the way as she swam, until suddenly she broke free of the gloom under the seaweed! She was home!
“Mommy! Mommy!” Sally called. “Come quick I have something to show you!”
“What is it, Sally?” her mom said, rushing over to her.
“Look mom! I have a horn in the middle of my forehead, just like a Unicorn!”
Sally’s mom looked. “Well, isn’t that something!” she cried. “You ARE a little Sea-Unicorn after all!”
“Yes!” Sally said with a smile. She looked around for her Fairy Fish friend Fiona, but the glittery fish was nowhere to be found. Sally frowned. “I
wanted you to meet a friend of mine,” Sally told her mother, “but I can’t find her right now.”
“It’s ok, Sally,” said her mom. “You can introduce me later.” She swam off to cook dinner for Sally and all her many brothers and sisters.
“Fiona!” Sally called. “Where did you go?”
“Shh,” said Fiona’s voice from somewhere hidden. “I’m hiding again. No one can hear me but you.”
“But you helped me get home! Thank you so much!”
“You’re very welcome, Sally,” Fiona said. “I helped you because you said such nice things about me. Be nice to others, and they will be nice to you.” Fiona’s voice got quieter as if she was swiming away from Sally.
“I’ll remember that, Fiona!” Sally said. And she did. She grew up to be the cutest, sweetest, friendliest SeaUnicorn in the whole ocean!