Do Clams Bite?
Chapter 13: “Let’s Get a Move On”
YOU CAN READ THE FIRST HALF
slipped over the side into the water. My father stood around with
his hands in his pockets, whistling and looking out over the water at the
I sat in the stern, with my legs dangling, playing my game with the surface of the water again, hoping that, since Grandfather had my father to clam with him, I might go unnoticed and not have to get into the water at all.
“Bert,” called Grandfather, “are you going to dig some clams?”
“Oh, yeah,” said my father. “I was just looking at the islands and wondering how they were formed. Do you ever wonder about that?”
“Nope,” said Grandfather
“They probably started out as just sand bars, wouldn’t you say?”
“Probably,” said Grandfather.
“And then they grew, little by little.”
“Guess so,” said Grandfather.
My father seemed to have run out of things to say about the islands. He began unbuttoning his shirt, slowly. He spotted me in the stern. “Hey, Peter,” he said. “Let’s get a move on. Let’s not sit around. I want to see you in the water. You must be quite a little clammer by now.”
I gave him a sickly grin and started unbuttoning my shirt, more slowly than he. Unbuttoning one’s shirt, removing one’s trousers, adjusting the string tie on one’s little woolen bathing suit—these are tasks that one can’t stretch out forever. Eventually my father and I were ready to get into the water. We let ourselves over the side.
I stood near the Rambunctious, in water up to my shoulders, watching Grandfather, standing in water up to his waist, shuffling along with short steps, probing the sand with his toes. When he felt a clam, he would duck beneath the surface and scoop it out of the sand. He’d bring it up and drop it into the front of his snug wool suit. Slowly, reluctantly, I began an imitation of his shuffle. I was scared to death: with my father and my grandfather both watching me, today was going to have to be the day.
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Little Follies is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogues, settings, and businesses portrayed in it are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.
“My Mother Takes a Tumble,” “Do Clams Bite?,” “Life on the Bolotomy,” “The Static of the Spheres,” “The Fox and the Clam,” “The Girl with the White Fur Muff,” “Take the Long Way Home,” and “Call Me Larry” were originally published in paperback by Apple-Wood Books.
Little Follies was first published in hardcover by Crown Publishers, Inc., 201 East 50th Street, New York, New York 10022. Member of the Crown Publishing Group.
For information about publication rights outside the U. S. A., audio rights, serial rights, screen rights, and so on, e-mail the author’s imaginary agent, Alec “Nick” Rafter.
The illustration at the top of the page is an adaptation of an illustration by Stewart Rouse that first appeared on the cover of the August 1931 issue of Modern Mechanics and Inventions. The boy at the controls of the aerocycle doesn’t particularly resemble Peter Leroy—except, perhaps, for the smile.