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My grand daughter has an extreme effect on me, off late she was scared of sharks, and no one knows why, but we think that someone was scaring her about sharks.  So one day we went to the swimming pool and she was scared, after a long interrogations I realised that she is scared of sharks,  so I told her that not all sharks are bad, some of them are good and friendly (I must do my research as she could encounter sharks in her life time and she finds out that they are not!!), so i made up a bed time story for her about a friendly shark.

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Then my imagination went wild, I asked my friend the artist to drew me a character of this young shark, which she did, and I continued to write these short stories for my grand daughter; of course I must mention to you that she loves her cousin Rashed, and when the story was going on, she said where is Rashed, I told her that in the story he is a rabbit, now we are stuck with few characters that she likes and I introduced names of the cities we both live in,  she lives in Manama and I live in Dubai, just to make the story plausible for her.  I hope you will like this collection too.

  1. Shark Mark the different shark.

 

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There was a little shark who was different from his fellow sharks. His mother called him Mark

 

IMG_1833Shark mark loves to play! Others are afraid of him because he is a shark.  So he decided he will venture out on a land journey. His mother made him wear a nice suit and a papione so he looks like a boy.

Shark Mark went ashore and walked and walked, uphill and downhill. He loves to see the houses and enjoyed looking at the shops. He saw sparkly things and he saw colorful things. He went to a shop and asked for icecream. The shop owner asked him for money! What’s that? Shark Mark says, the shop owner was friendly so he gave him one for free. Shark mark was happy liking his icecream.

 

He found a park with slides and swings. And he saw a little girl on the swing. He asked her if he can swing with her. She was happy to see him as her mother was reading her book and her father on his IPad. She asked him his name.  What’s your name? He said Mark! She said my name is Anfal but they call me Nano! He said: “I like both your names”! Maybe I should get a second name!  Anfal said call yourself Sharkey that suits you too. So both played on the swings, the slides and chased each other around the shrubs.

 

Suddenly they saw a trampoline. It was large and round so they both decided to jump up and down on the trampoline. They were screaming and laughing. So little squirrel came out of the shrubs looking at them! What’s your name little squirrel asked Anfal! My name is Ted, said the squirrel. Would you like to jump on the trampoline with Sharkey and I said Anfal,  “yes I would love too” said the squirrel. And the three of them jumped up and down shouting and giggling.

 

Then rabbit Rashed woke up, he wanted to see what was happening. He came closer and saw a shark, a squirrel and a little girl jumping on the trampoline. He asked if he can jump too! Anfal said yes but you have to be careful as your tail may get trapped in the sides of the trampoline. So the made room for him to jump in the middle. They laughed and had so much fun.

 

They felt hungry so Anfal went and brought the basket that had apples, nuts and chocolate and the four friends had a little picnic.

 

It was getting dark, the mother and father called Anfal to go back home. She said goodbye to Sharkey, Ted and Rabbit Rashed and asked them to play with her again the next day.

 

The four friends promised each other to meet again the next day and each went home.

 

Sharkey went back to the sea and decided that the mainland is better for him “I will play there every day” he said to himself.

 

He kissed his mother and fell fast asleep

 

  1. The sun road of Manama beach 

 

IMG_1836Anfal and Rashed were playing on the beach. They are looking at the sun reflection on the sea that resembles a sunny road.

 

Suddenly Shark Mark comes out of the sea and called them to come with him! Anfal said that she is not a good swimmer and Rashid’s fur will be wet too

 

Shark Mark told them: don’t worry I will hold your hands, so the three friends walked on the sunny road and suddenly they see a different world. One full of shell palaces, fish with dresses and pants, fish on carts and seahorses, fishkids playing and much more. “The bottom of the sea was fun” Anfal and Rashed told Shark Mark.

 

Shark Mark was apprehensive and didn’t reply, he was walking fast and holding their hands, “where are we going” said Anfal?

 

He said “the princess wants to do a party and wants to have one similar to what you do on shore. I told her that my friend Anfal will help with the party”.

 

They reached the palace and the fish guards opened the gates. The walls were full of colorful gemstones, pearls, diamonds and colorful mosaic! The furniture was adorable and the stairs are slides. They rode a swing and it pulled them up to the courts of the princess.

 

Princess zaza was tall and slim, she didn’t have scales similar to the other fish but had a pretty fins and smooth face! Anfal decided that Princess Zaza and she will be friend one day.

 

The three of them started baking the cakes, biscuits and donuts, made lollipops, ice-cream, sugar puffs, chocolate fountains and much more

 

They blow balloons and arranged the give away gifts. By the time the party started they were ready with the feast

 

They all sang and ate, then Shark Mark took them back to the beach. Their parents arrived on time and didn’t know about their secret adventure

 

  1. Visiting Dubai Aquarium 

 

Shark Mark hurried in the road to meet Anfal in the park as usual. His eyes popped out as she wasn’t there! He tried to find squirrel Ted and Rabbit Rashed behind the bushes! They were fast asleep as it was a very hot summer day. He called their names to wake them up. Ted, Rashed wakey wakey, he said. Both reluctantly opened their eyes. Where is Anfal today! They said that she had gone to Dubai with her parents to visit the grandparents!

 

Shark Mark was sad as he wanted to tell Anfal that the princess sent her greetings and she wanted to see her again.

 

He decided to go to Dubai. He went back and swam quickly to the shores of Dubai. It was the Aquarium day, its when they come and take some more fish and sharks. When they saw him they felt that he would be unusual with his red mark! Shark Mark was happy about that. Off they went to that magic place called Dubai Mall where people gather to see the sea world through a thick glass.

 

That day Anfal and her father went to the aquarium and decided to enter the tunnel. Anfal was joyous to see Mark who winked at her so no one will notice him. When she went up to see the crocks and the penguins Shark Mark came and they hugged. They played together and he told her that the princess is planning another party. Anfal was so happy that the Dubai Aquarium group didn’t bother Shark Mark. Do you know why? Because each one of the group was different and hay that’s why they were chosen.

 

When it was time for the visit to end she promised Shark Mark to wait for him near the sun road of Manama soon.

 

The next day the guards of Dubai Aquarium took the fish and sharks back to sea and hunted for new volunteers. Shark Mark was happy to see his friends and visit Dubai for the first time.  He misses the Sun Road of Manama and promised his newly made friends that he will visit them again.

 

 

  1. The Barbies

 

Reem grow up very fast, her mother collected all her toys, dolls and Barbies and placed them in boxes in the children game room. That was a giant room with toys everywhere! Cars here, bicycles there, a bunch of soft toys in one corner, Monster TV in the middle, piano and Violin and much more. That room is only used by Ali these days and he loves to have children play with him unfortunately they were either too young or much older.

 

One day Anfal went to play with him and she accompanied little Rashed. The only box that was not touched was the one with the Barbies! She doesn’t like tall women with heals, she told Ali and Rashed.

 

That night the Barbies were crying! No one wants to play with us! The elder one of them said.  “We must do something” the rest of he Barbies were all ears. “We must have a plan” the elder one said!  “We must compete with Princess Anna and Elsa. As most girls want to be dressed like them, or we must look like stuffed toys and fat women or mothers”

 

“What’s the plan” they all screamed, but the elder one told them to be quite as the kids will wake up and ruin their plan.

 

So they started to implement their plan. First thing was to take off all the flowery cloths and the heels and hide them in one of the boxes so no one will see them. Then they went scrambling in the boxes to find sport shoes and fabrics of the torn and over used soft toys. One of the Barbies was clever in stitching! “We must rummage and find a sewing machine”. They found one in one of Reem’s boxes and she started to make cloths that the kids would like and would prefer. also she re decorated the house to make it kids friendly and full of little bears and soft chairs and other stuff that the kids will not break when they play with them.

 

When Anfal and Rashed visited Ali the following week the first thing he showed them was the newly transformed kids Barbies place. That day they all talked with the little women and had an unusual tea party

 

  1. The Parents Found Out

It was a hot summer day, the parents were still asleep while the early riser Anfal was playing with Queen Alsa and Anna and singing along ‘let it go’: “stop being bossy” Anfal was telling Queen Alsa, Anna didn’t do anything.  The make believe discussion was marvelous.

After breakfast, Anfal begged her parents to take her to the beach; she was missing her friends, as she hadn’t seen them since the Aquapark in Dubai.

 

“Take me to the beach” she insisted, the parents gave in and off they went after packing lunch and goodies.  What she liked most, were lollipops, chewing gum, chocolates and fizzy drinks.  When they reached there, Squirrel Tes and Rabbit Rashid were waiting.  “what took you so long”? they screeched “Why” Anfal replied.  Don’t you see, “the beach is so filthy, its full of debris” said Ted.  “That was so true” thought Anfal , there were nails, pieces of wood, metal items and much more rubbish washed ashore by the waves.  Anfal thought for a minute but still couldn’t see why Ted and Rashed were upset.  “Do you want to clean it out? I can ask my parents and we can do so” Ted shouted at her, Anfal listen we haven’t seen Shark Mark for ages, he probably is dead in all this rubbish which had come out from the sea.  “Oh my god, is that true?” “Better clean the beach while we wait.

The three friends started to collect the dangerous items and drag them to the bins.  Anfal’s father was marveling at the energy his daughter and her friends had and how they were cleaning up the beach, he thought they were trying to be busy, but didn’t know that they were buying time waiting for their friend.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the sea, there was a crisis; one of the man built islands had a malfunction and its base fell off. Lots of the sea life had been destroyed, and the 100 years old coral reef and shrimps breeding beds had disappeared, but this disaster had meant that many more fish would die.

 

The princess declares a sad day, she call those in authority to save what they can save, and to call Shark Mark to help. At that time Shark Mark was busy trying to save his friends, the disaster was unbearable for him.  Even though no one liked him and they were all scared of him, he was friendly, and loved and everyone, “I am sad” he thought.  Even though he longed for the shores and and his talks with Ted, Rashed and Anfal, but duty comes first, after all, that is why he is Shark Mark.

 

When he got the call of the Princess, he didn’t know what to do, but the first person that popped in his head was Anfal.  So he swam towards the Sun Road of Manama, then he leapt out and hurried on the beach so reach the beach.  Anfal spots him and gives a nudge to the boys: “lets run towards Shark Mark before my mum and dad see him” when they all met, Mark told them about the disaster and that they need help.

 

That is when little Anfal runs to her parents and spells the beans.  All along the parent thought that she loves to play with animals, but what they didn’t realize is the friendship with the shark.  They stopped wondering when Shark Mark explained what had happened in the bottom of the sea.  The parents contacted the sea authorities who showed up with their jet skies, submarines and all the saving gadgets, everyone went aboard including Shark Mark, Ted, and Rashed. The parents were thrilled and over joyed for the courageous acts of their little girl.

 

The saviors cleared the mess, and saved the sea kind.  The princess was happy and She decided to reward Shark Mark by giving him the title of the head of the Sea Guards.

 

That night everybody went to sleep with happiness in their ears and joy in their feet. The moon shown over the Sun road od Manama and winked to the stars.

 

6- The Wedding of Princess Zaza

It was a fine day, the friends decided to have a picnic and to swim, so mum and dad packed lunch, and the few goodies rabbit Rashed, Ted and Anfal liked. They also carried some ice-cream in a cold box just in case Anfal’s friend shows up “You never know” said dad.

They were running around, chasing each other, collecting shells and also removing the rubbish, the people normally leave on the beach. “Anfal loves tidy and clean places” thought squirrel Ted, “I must tidy my home in case she visits me one day.”

While playing they saw shark Mark hurrying on the sun road “the reflection of the sun is too strong today” thought Rabbit Rashed,”Shark Mark will suffocate.

The friend ran and met Shark Mark half way and after the hugs and kisses he told them the news “the princess is getting married”, ‘What, really’ they all screamed, ‘Zaza is getting married? To whom?’ Anfal shouted.

“Off, the prince of Jumeirah Sun Road, he saw her when we were saving the fish and fell in love instantly” Shark Mark said.

“And being the head Guard Princesses Zaza sent me to invite you and also she needs a magnificent wedding, you need to help her Anfal

“Me”, “She wants me to help” but how can I? there are 101 things to be done, Anfal thought. She remember how her mum and grandmother were frantically running around to complete the chores of her Uncle’s wedding”. Alas, she loves the princesses and if they put their hands together they can do it.

So, this time she asked for her mum and dad’s permission, ”can they say no and deprive her this opportunity” she thought. The parents were only too happy. So the four friends hurried on the sun road of Manama, until they were all in the bottom of the sea.

First thing was to build the wedding tent, the tables, chairs, the stage and the food. The assembled a team of fish to do that.

Second was the list of invites, then there was the wedding give away, the lights, the singers, so she asked Rashed and Ted looked after this list.  But the most important of all was the theme of the wedding, Anfal had seen the pictures of her Uncle’s wedding, it had cherry blossom theme,  can they do something like that?  she asked the entourage of Shark Mark to find a plant from the sea that had a pink and white effect, and showed them how to mix it and keep the light fish behind these plants.  Each of the friends had a job which they were busy with. She had to think of the most important thing, the dress.

Since there was a very short time Anfal thought of calling all the colorful gemstone fish to stick itself on a wide fish net (which Shark Mark who is a clever Shark, saves the fish and hides the net for future use).

So when all the pearls, rubies, emeralds and diamond fish stone attached themselves to the net, she made the princesses stand still which and they wrapped it around her, another long and thin net was to be made into the built with more fish stone stuck to it. The crown was also a collection of one type of fish stone and so they chose the rubies and it matched the cherry blossom theme. More fishnet for the vail, gloves and shoes.

“Princess Zaza looked marvellous” Shark Mark shouted, “the prince is lucky”. Anfal gave him a nudge to check on the hall preparation and the food.

Ted and Rashed were the ring holders, and Anfal was the bride’s maid.

While everyone was seated the music started and the bride and bride groom entered. The ceremony was so beautiful and everyone was happy.

There was so much dancing and singing, eating and drinking but everyone was cheerful and happy to know that without Anfal this would not have happened.

 

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