What Pegman Saw: Marie

BSA Big Munson Island – Front Yard – Sargassum Beach CTS | Peter Khor

“Look, it’s a sea cucumber.” She grinned, a fisherman’s net of wrinkles cast across each cheek.

Before I could wade my way out, she’d lowered the creature into the shallows and let it rest in the sea grass. Then she was off, squinting up at the sun before splashing into another inlet, her bare legs freckled with age. She sported a skirted-swimming suit and a hat with a brim wider than Calusa Beach.

I could barely keep up with her. She knew the name of every sea star and prickly urchin that ever stitched its way through the shoals of Coupon Bight. She pulled up each kind in turn, greeting them like snowbirds in November, turning their bellies up to marvel at their workings.

“Once I had a nurse shark swim right between my legs,” she said for no reason.

She had a million stories and I believed them all.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

This little vignette was inspired by my former mother-in-law, a woman as fearless as she is joyful. The woman has a Carolina drawl sweeter than southern comfort and twice as intoxicating. What a delightful woman, I miss her still.


  1. I love the image of the fisherman’s net of wrinkles on her cheeks. Her joy at being in the sea and seeing all her little friends in there is palpable!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Joy. That’s sort of how I feel about the sea too, but I’m not as good at showing it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well apparently you are — just indirectly!


  2. I’m thinking it takes nigh a lifetime to become so knowledge, plus a keen-beyond-keen interest in their subject, in this case, sea life. Your story makes me smile; I can imagine the joy to know such a person

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a joy! I’m going to confess now that I’m not entirely sure she knew the names of every creature, but was not afraid to improvise when her knowledge fell short. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a tendency to do the same with flowers, though I will preface it with ‘I think it’s a…’


  3. Dear Karen,

    Lovely story that left me wanting to know her. My favorite line is in your after comment. Sweeter than Southern Comfort and twice as intoxicating. You have me missing the beach. A week in NC with my brother wasn’t enough. Again, I enjoyed this little character study.



    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ditto everything Rochelle said, except the NT bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Lish!


    2. Aw shucks, I’m glad you liked it. You must know that Carolina drawl pretty well yourself. Thanks for for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I want to know this woman! I want to BE here! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! Love that you said that 🙂


  5. What a wonderful story, Karen.
    She sounds like a delight and I want to know her just from this little bit you shared.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw so glad it came across. She is a delight! Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Well done and felt the celebration of water ((and love when people don’t call them starfish because sea star is what it is…))
    And your mother n law sounds like she was a gift! That is not always the case… so blessed you truly were 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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