What Shall We Do Now? 155
To make full use of the sands a spade is necessary and a pail important. The favourite thing to make is a castle and a moat, and although the water rarely is willing to stay in the moat it is well to pour some in. The castle may also have a wall round it and all kinds of other buildings within the wall. Abbeys are also made, and great houses with carefully arranged gardens, and villages, and churches. Railways with towns and stations here and there along the line are easily made, and there is the fun of being the train when the line is finished. The train is a good thing to be, because the same person is usually engine-driver and guard as well. Collisions are interesting now and then. The disadvantage of a railway on crowded sands is that passers-by injure the line and sometimes destroy, by a movement of the foot, a whole terminus ; it is therefore better at small watering-places that few people have yet discovered. If an active game is wanted as well as mere digging and building, a sand fort is the best thing to make, because then it has to be held and besieged, and perhaps captured. In all sand operations stones are useful to mark boundaries.
Burying one another in the sand is good at the time, but gritty afterwards.
Seaweed and shells make good collections, but there is no use in carrying live fish home in pails. The fun is in catching the fish, not in keeping it ; and some landladies dislike having the bath-room used as an aquarium. On wet days seaweed can be stuck on cards or in a book. The best way to get it to spread out and not crease on a card, is to float the little pieces in a basin and slip the card underneath them in the water. When the seaweed has settled on it, take the card out and leave it to dry. The seaweed will then be found to be stuck, except perhaps in places here and there, which can be made sure by inserting a little touch of gum. It is the smaller, coloured kinds of seaweed that one treats in this way ; and it is well to leave them for a day in the sun before washing and preparing, as this brings out their
Sand castles^ and other satid games.