Once upon a time a baby seahorse was swimming in the deep blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. His name was Sammy.
Sammy was a beautiful sea creature who was only a few days old. He was a quarter of an inch long and his head looked just like that of a horse. However, unlike a horse, he had a long, curly tail.
Sammy loved the ocean life very much. He was allowed to swim all day long. He loved to explore every piece of the ocean. He had found several deep caves which were his most favourite places to spend his time.
One day, while in one of the caves, Sammy saw something that was very unusual. He saw hundreds of barrels lined up very neatly against the wall. Sammy did not know what the barrels contained but he felt very uneasy about them. Quickly, Sammy swam home and told his parents what he had found.
“Barrels,” said his father. “Are you sure, son?”
“Yes, father,” said Sammy. “I’m sure. I could take you there tomorrow and show them to you.”
Just then, Grandpa Seahorse swam by.
“Hello son,” said Grandpa. “How are you today?”
“Oh just fine Dad,” said Sammy’s father. “Dad, Sammy was just telling me that he saw some barrels in one of the caves. Could this be so?”
“Barrels!” the old seahorse said with great difficulty. “Oh please don’t tell me that they are starting this nonsense again! Sammy, I hope you didn’t touch any of those blasted things!”
“No Grandpa,” said Sammy, who was beginning to feel scared. “I never went near them. As soon as I saw them, I came right home to tell Daddy.”
“That’s a good boy,” said Grandpa. “Never, never, never go anywhere near those barrels. Those barrels contain very dangerous chemicals and could harm each and every creature in the ocean.”
Sammy began to cry. Grandpa, who realized he had spoken too harshly to the boy, came over and wrapped his long tail around his grandson to comfort him. Soon, he stopped crying.
“I’m sorry,” said Grandpa. “I didn’t mean to frighten you, Sammy. It’s just that I have seen barrels just like those. One day, while your Grandma and I were exploring the ocean, we went inside one of the caves. We saw some very strange creatures swimming around. They unloaded thousands of those barrels. For weeks and weeks, those barrels kept on coming. One day, I was called away to do some work for someone. Grandma was swimming near the caves, all by herself. She noticed a murky streak floating in the water. It was coming from one of the barrels. The creatures who were bringing the barrels down here, accidentally split one of them open. The barrel must have contained a very poisonous substance because shortly after that, your Grandma became very ill.”
Grandpa was silent for a few seconds and Sammy was sure that he saw tears falling from his eyes.
“That was the day that I lost your Grandma,” said Grandpa, sadly.
“I thought you told me that Grandma is in heaven,” said Sammy.
“Yes son,” Grandpa explained. “Your Grandma is in heaven. You see, when someone dies, who was as kind-hearted and sincere as your Grandma was, they go to heaven.”
“Oh,” said Sammy. “You know, Grandpa. I never met my Grandma but I bet that she would have been a great Grandma to have.”
“Yes,” said Grandpa. “She would have been and do you want to know something else?”
“What Grandpa?” asked Sammy.
“Even though Grandma never met you,” said Grandpa. “I know that she would have been very proud to have you as a grandson.”
“You think so,” said Sammy.
“I know so,” said Grandpa.
The next day, Sammy showed his father and grandfather the cave that he had seen the barrels in.
“Well son,” said Father. “You were right, there are hundreds of them here.”
“Would you look at that!” exclaimed Grandpa excitedly. “Those aren’t barrels! They are treasure chests!”
“Treasure chests!” exclaimed Sammy. “What is a treasure chest?”
“A treasure chest is filled with gold and jewels,” said Grandpa. “Son, I think that you are rich!”
“Here son,” said Sammy’s father, when he had pried one of the chests open. “Come see for yourself!”
Inside the chest were gold coins. Thousands of them!
“I’m rich!” cried Sammy. “I’m rich!”
A few moments later, after some of the excitement wore down, Sammy had something very important to ask his grandfather.
“Grandpa,” said Sammy. “What does being rich mean?”
Moral of this Story: