I looked down at the small brown disc in my hand, embarrassed. “I thought sand dollars were white.” Strands of feathery seaweed floated around my ankles.
My beach companions stared at me. I skimmed through my memories of collecting shells. No, nothing surfaced relating to sand dollars.
Minutes earlier, a casual walk along the shoreline had dissolved into a free-for-all treasure hunt at the first sighting. I found just two (with some needed help) while others had stacks.
“No, they are alive. Feel the velvety side. You soak them overnight and they turn white. They're beautiful.”
“I, uh, thought they were just hard shells.” Appalled even more by my lack of ocean life knowledge, I stroked the soft side of what I now knew was a sea urchin. A live one.
I found the exhilaration of the quest evaporate then. I stopped searching and waded on.