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“Ready or not, here I come!” Ariel called out. The red-haired mermaid turned, opened her eyes, and looked around for any sign of her friend Flounder. They were playing hide – and – seek, and Ariel was “it.”
She looked behind some seaweed, checked around some pink coral, and peeked inside a clamshell. Ariel didn’t find the yellow – and – blue – striped fish, but she did find another little fish.
“Did you see which way Flounder went?” She asked the blue-and-orange fish.
The fish pointed a fin towards the palace where Ariel lived. “Oh, thank you!” The little mermaid cried Is she swam that way.
Once inside, she zoomed around looking for her friend.
“Ariel!” King Triton exclaimed as his daughter swam into the room. He held bis arms out to hug her, but she raced past him, “So nice to see you. But I gather you’ve come to visit someone else?”
“Oh, hello, Daddy, ” Ariel replied.” Flounder and I are playing hide – and – seek. “Then she noticed something move by the table. It must be Flounder! She thought. She swam over and moved a piece of seaweed. A sea horse smiled at her.
Ariel frowned. “Have you seen Flounder anywhere?” She asked her father.
King Triton smiled slyly. “I may have seen him,” he said. “And I may not have seen him,” he added jokingly. Hmmm, thought Ariel. This is my help at all. Where could Flounder be? Then she had an idea maybe he was up on the surface.
“See you later!” She called her father as she quickly swam away.
Up at the surface, Ariel found Scuttle the seagull, but no Flounder. “Hi, Scuttle!” Said Ariel.
“Hi, Ariell” Scuttle replied. “I haven’t seen Flounder.”
Ariel eyed Scuttle suspiciously. “Hey … how did you know I was looking for him?”
Scuttle held up his wings in surrender. “Okay, okay!” He cried. “You forced it out of me! He came by looking for a hiding place. But then he headed off towards your secret grotto.”
“Thanks, Scuttle!” Ariel said and dived back underwater.
Ariel swam to her secret grotto. She loved human things like beads and lampshades. Sometimes Flounder helped her on treasure hunts. Whenever they found something new, they would take it to the grotto. Ariel searched all around the cave, but she didn’t find Flounder.
Soon, she gave up and headed back to the palace. On her way back, she saw a pretty piece of coral and stopped to admire it. Behind the coral was the red crab who was one of her father’s most trusted advisers.
“Sebastian!” Ariel exclaimed, slightly startled.
“Ariel!” Sebastian replied. “What in the world is going on! First, Flounder comes tearing through here, and then you come along and scare me half out of my shell! All I want is some peace and quiet !”
“Sorry, Sebastian,” Ariel replied,” But did you see where the Flounder went? “
“He swam in that direction,” said Sebastian, pointing a claw. “Why?” He culled all. What’s happening? But Ariel was gong with a flick of her tail.
Hmm, thought Ariel, as she swam in the direction Sebastian had pointed to. The only good place to hide out this way would the sunken ship! But Flounder was afraid of the creepy old ship. He avoided it whenever he could. Why in the world would he hide there?
Then it hit Ariel: because it was the very last place she would look for him!
The mermaid searched the whole ship opening doors, peering around corners, and peeking under loose floorboards She found some starfish, but there was no sign of Flounder until… Ariel heard a soft “ahem.”
“Flounder,” Ariel said with a giggle as she swam toward the noise. It seemed to have come from inside a cupboard. She pulled the door open and saw her friend. She’d found him at last! “Gotcha!” She cried. “You picked a great hiding place.”
Flounder smiled at Ariel.
“But now that I found you,” Ariel said, “it’s your turn to be ‘it’!”
Flounder turned and began to count as Ariel swam off to find a hiding place of her own…