Mourning doves fluttered away as they walked past the mesquite and palo verde that crowded the trail. The doves startled Lily at first. Then she started clapping each time the doves flew off their perches.
"Help us find treasure," Lily said after a while, looking back at Myla.
The children slowed until she caught up with them.
“Well, Lily my Lily, I suppose each treasure hunt is different for each person,” Myla said. “I ask the wash and the Old Mermaids to show me what is here for me on this day. Often I find things as I walk. At this time of year when it’s been dry for a long time, the pickings are slim. So sometimes I just stop. I don’t know where or when. I stop when it moves me, and I close my eyes and breathe. When I open my eyes and look around, I almost always see something I hadn’t seen before.”
. . . .
They all stopped. Lily closed her eyes. Myla did the same. She breathed deeply. When she opened her eyes, Lily looked at her feet. She leaned over and picked up what liked like a thin curved white stone. She held it up to Myla who crouched next to her.
“Lily my Lily,” she said. “Do you know what this is?”
The others gathered around them in a circle.
“A pretty rock,” Lily said.
“It’s part of a sea shell,” Myla said. “This is quite a treasure. You know what this means?”
Lily shook her head.
“If you find a sea shell—especially one in the desert—it means a mermaid just found her tail.”
Posted by Kim Antieau at 10:19 PM