Ten-year-old Mark would rather be at home with his computer than holidaying at the beach. He certainly wouldn’t admit he’d be pretty lonely doing that either. But everything changes when he meets Crabbo, a talking crab. Together they take on the camping ground bullies and turn his holiday into the best Mark’s ever had.
Mark, Ellie and Crabbo, the talking crab, are on holiday at the beach where the Cripps are very unhappy. Fred and his mean gang are stealing from their milk bar, endangering their ability to stay in business. Can clever Crabbo come up with a plan to trap the bullies or will the Cripps be forced to close their shop?
GENRE: Mid-grade Reader ISBN: 978-1-925191-18-9 ASIN: B004I8WPQM
Mark sighed and poked at the sand with his stick. Beach holidays were okay, but he’d rather be at home with his computer and books.
“Drop the stick, Fish-face!” croaked a voice.
Mark dropped the stick and stared at the sand in surprise. Where had that voice come from? He peered into the hole but it was too dark to see so he nudged the hole with his big toe.
A large brown crab poked its head out of the hole. It snapped at Mark, then sunk its claw into Mark’s big toe.
“Ouch! It’s got me!” he yelled, hopping up and down on the sand. Mark tried to shake the crab off his foot, but it was sticking to him like a scab to a band-aid so he grabbed it instead. The crab latched onto Mark’s finger. It left a red scratch on his hand when he pulled it off.
Mark’s mum put down her book and peered over her sunglasses at Mark. “What are you doing?” she called out.
“Cleaning up the beach,” said Mark, grabbing a stick to bash this annoying crab with.
“Wait, Fish-face! I won’t pinch you again if you drop the stick.”
Mark’s mouth gaped open. “Jumping jellybeans,” he said. “It’s a talking crab!” He dropped the stick and stared. “I didn’t know crabs could talk.”
The crab swelled with pride. “Most can’t,” it said. “I’m gifted.”
Mark hadn’t heard of a gifted crab before. And he hadn’t heard of a talking crab either!
The crab pointed at Mark’s red finger and seemed to smile. “Sorry about the scratch, matey, I won’t do it again. I want a favour from you.”
Mark frowned. He didn’t know if he trusted this strange sea creature.
“I want you to show me what’s behind this beach.”
The wind blew Mark’s hair into his eyes. He squinted at the grass-covered sand dunes. He could just see the tops of the tents from the camping ground behind the dunes.
Mark shook his head and sucked his sore finger. The crab was bossy and Mark didn’t like it. “No,” he said. “I won’t.”
“You’ll have to take me home, Fish-face,” said the crab. “Or I’ll start screaming and people will think it’s you because everyone knows that crabs can’t talk.”
Mark dropped the crab onto the sand. He was sick of being bullied. The kids at school bullied him, Tom his big brother bullied him and now this crab was trying to bully him.
“You’ll be sorry,” said the crab. He raised his claws and yelled, “I’m an idiot! I’M AN IDIOT.”
Mark dropped to his knees and tried to smother the crab with his hands.
Seawater dripped onto Mark’s shoulder. Tom, Mark’s older brother stood over him. He’d been surfing with his father. Mark shivered, the water was cold.
“We know you’re an idiot,” said Tom. “Do you have to tell the whole beach?”
“It wasn’t me,” said Mark, still covering the crab with his hands.
Tom shook himself like a dog. Water showered Mark.
“Who was it then?” asked Tom. “Your invisible friend?”
Mark opened his hands and looked at the crab. It wasn’t talking.
“Time for lunch,” called Mark’s mum as she closed her book and shook the sand off her towel.
“Bring your invisible friend with you,” said Tom as he walked ahead with his surfboard. “He might like sandwiches.”
“Better take me,” said the crab. “Or I’ll start screaming again.”
“I’M AN ID…”
“Okay, okay,” snarled Mark. He scooped up the crab and shoved it into the pocket of his board shorts. What was he going to do with a talking crab?