Sarah picked up the conch shell and hefted its weight in her hands.
“Can I see? Can I?” asked Katie. The little girl stood on her toes, sand digging between them.
“I’ve never found one this big before. It’s pretty heavy,” her sister said, handing the shell to Katie. Its size equaled that of the little girl’s head.
She held it close to her chest and peered closely at it. “Why does it look so rough?” she asked, curling one hand around to feel the coarse texture, like worn stone.
“Oh,” said Sarah, overflowing with the knowledge of her years, “that’s just from the wind and water and stuff like that.”
Katie frowned. “I though it would be prettier,” she said.
Sarah reached down and turned the shell over, exposing its smooth, pink opening for the little girl’s inspection.
Katie gasped. “It is pretty!” she said.
Sarah smiled. “Doesn’t mom always say that beauty’s on the inside?” She bent down and placed the opening next to her sister’s ear. She titled her own head close, and the two girls listened to the cool, clean ocean waves together.