by Sarah-Jayne Taylor
How well I remember in days of yore, (in fact ‘twas the summer two thousand and four),
That although never seen in huge amounts, on Avon Beach or thereabouts,
In sun and rain and fog and mist, scallop shells could be found the size of a fist!
Then one day that summer from out of the blue, an old fisherman told me (so certainly true!),
A trawler was spotted a mile off our shore, a boat which had never been seen here before,
And he scooped up the scallops until they were gone,
Then he swiftly returned to the land he’d come from,
And from that sad day onwards along the shore, the giant shells could be found no more.
Then… on one cold day this winter, (‘twas February third),
As I strolled on the beach feeling free as a bird,
I looked down and saw lying high on the sand,
A huge scallop shell the size of my hand!
After sixteen long years have they really returned?
It’s too early to say; will the lesson be learned?
But I hope and I pray that this one’s just the first
And the scallops are back, from our beach down to Hurst!