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Sarah was beach-combing. It was just past low tide, and she could see for miles. The level sands in the distance mingled with the sea and the sky. She found some shells, a skein of seaweed, a child’s plastic bracelet, a salty lump of wood. These were all close by: but in the distance, all of a sudden, she saw something huge on the sand. It must be a beached whale and was about 30 foot long: how sad! She set off  at a trot to investigate.

She sensed a shift in the wind. It was now an on-shore breeze, and the tide had been coming in for a little while. The penis lay on a sandbank. There was a roiling and a commotion in the water. It was bearing the thing away: but it might bear Sarah with it. It was a rip tide.


She ran with all her might towards the sand-hills. Turning round, she saw the huge object start to float, making a roaring sound as it was dislodged from its bed. The churning water made it roll over, so that the little hole on the underside was now  on the top, and the pressure of the waves forced a spurt of water out. It looked like a whale’s blow-hole, and indeed made a keening, mournful sound as it was borne out to sea.


Sarah watched until she could see it no more. But it sang for a long while, until nightfall. It might have been wrecked on another beach, but she never heard news of it. Nonetheless, she decided that her beach-combing days were done. The  next rip current might be really dangerous.

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When she got there, she sank to her knees with shock. It was no whale at all, but a gigantic penis. She walked round it. The parts were all there: the frenum, the foreskin, the veins. No testicles - they must have been washed away in a storm, perhaps. Anyhow, what was she to do? If it had been a whale, she might have alerted the authorities, tried to keep it alive with wet towels and wait till the turn of the tide. But wet towels didn’t seem the right solution in this case. Without its owner, the penis could not survive, surely. And if it could, that was too frightful to contemplate. She walked round it again. It was indeed sad. Sarah had expected to be afraid of it, but curiosity was what she felt.

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