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Friday, July 15, 2011

CAN YOU DANCE? By Linda M., age 9


Tap, tap, tap. Hermit Crab twirled and jumped. He was Contestant Number 6 on Can You Dance. Lights flashed and it was a little dark. The studio was filled with salt water. There was an echo when the judge talked. Hermit danced the moonwalk. Other hermit crabs joined him. They said, "Go Hermit!" twice. He stopped because someone began singing the ABC song. The crowd clapped with the beat. He got dizzy then he felt his legs crack.

Oh no! Hermit thought. The other hermit crabs cheered for Hermit even though he lay on the floor, curled up like a baby.
He took a cab home. He was covered with scars and dry patches. Some of his rough skin fell off.

At home, Hermit’s mother asked him what happened.

Hermit said, "I cracked my leg."

"Let me get a broom to sweep your cracks."

"But how will sweeping fix my cracks?"

"It works on messes.”

The sweeping helped clean the floor but did not fix Hermit’s cracked legs. Hermit went to bed. He thought he might have to go to the doctor.


The next morning he threw up on his covers. He still felt dizzy. Hermit’s mother took him to the doctor.

“Could you come in tomorrow morning?” the nurse said.

“Can’t you see him now? It’s an emergency.”

“Well Dr. Phil is almost done with lunch. So please wait.”

Hermit waited until a nurse called his name.

“Hermit,” said a nurse. Hermit followed her into an examining room.

Bright lights shined down on the bed. Some of the shelves had glass doors with locks. It smelled like a laundromat because of all the cleaning chemicals.

"So tell me what happened,” the nurse said.

Hermit told the nurse about the disco injury.

“So you danced and then cracked?” said the nurse. “Well if you do that again just put oyster cream on the spot you cracked.” She pointed at a cast on the counter. “Or, put on a cast if you crack your leg, or these band-aids for anywhere else.”

The nursed rubbed the oyster cream onto his legs. It burned. It smelled like mint and felt like sticky honey.

"Thank you,” Hermit said. “But how will it help me?"

"Just try it out. I will tell you how later. Come back tomorrow morning ok?"

"Ok."


The next morning, Hermit found out he made it to the disco finals. But he had to go to the doctor’s office too. He decided to go to the contest. When Hermit arrived, it was his turn but he ran away because he was scared of getting dizzy and cracking his leg again.

"Well that is a waste," said the judge.

Hermit took a bus home.

He opened the door. He walked to the kitchen and got a cup of salt water. He set the cup on his stool near the couch and sat down. He picked up his cup of salt water. He took a sip but then he sneezed! The salt water spilled on Hermit and burned his cracks. Hermit went outside to get some fresh air and to visit the dolphin, Grace. He walked into Grace’s house. It was big. She had an old telephone next to a small TV. Grace was making seaweed tea. The teacup had little flowers on it, which reminded him of the time he drank tea after his first dance competition. The dance studio had the exact same teacups.

Grace invited Hermit to a restaurant for lunch. Hermit followed Grace into the sea. "Thanks Grace," said Hermit.

On the way to the restaurant, Grace asked Hermit, ”You have a doctor’s appointment right?"

"I skipped it,” said Hermit.

"You’re going to the doctor’s, come on!”

"Fine," Hermit said. " But I want to eat first"

"At the Pacific Clams."

"Ok."

They swam to the restaurant.


"It smells bad here,” Hermit said when they got there.

"That's you."

They went inside and sat at a table.

"Are you ready to order?" Grace said.

"No."

Grace grouched and a waiter came up to their table.

"What would you like," the waiter said.

"I would like lemon chicken and wrapped seaweed," Hermit said.

"Ok, it will be ready in fifteen minutes."

"Wait, wait, wait. That long?"

"Yes."

"Can't it be ten or five minutes? I am starving!"

"We need time to cook it."

"I’m going to the bathroom," Hermit said, getting up from the table.

In the bathroom, Hermit looked in the mirror. He felt dizzy and about to faint. He fell down and turned green. Hermit passed out and he came to on the floor with a bloody nose. The waiter was there, looking down at him and freaking out. He carried Hermit outside. Grace ran over.

Grace said, ”He’s still breathing but he’s out cold.”

The waiter called the ambulance.

Hermit woke up in the hospital. He felt like he was gone. His hand hung over the edge of the bed, clutching the TV remote. He turned the TV on and flipped through the channels. The disco contest was on the dance channel. Welcome back to Can You Dance. We are missing a contestant. Hermit Crab. He is in the hospital. We are very sad so we are giving him a gift card to the Pacific Clams.

Hermit turned off the TV and closed his eyes.


About the Author
Hi, my name is Linda. I am nine years old and I was born in Mongolia. I live with my mom, dad and my brother in San Francisco. I like doing math and I am good at it. Someday, I want to be better at doing art. When I grow up, I want to be a pediatrician. My favorite books are the Ivy and Bean book collection. I want to be famous for being an actress. If I could only ask one question for the rest of my life, I would ask, “Why is there human life?” because I wonder if someday humans will become extinct and there will be new creatures. I want the power to predict the future so I could warn people if something bad was going to happen.

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