The Black Pearl
by Scott O'Dell (1967)
The classic tale: boy finds pearl, boy loses pearl. Boy's dad gives pearl away, giant manta wants revenge for pearl, boy steals pearl to toss back into ocean.
Superstition, greed, selfish/selfless, allegory, nature.
Which came first? Doesn't this sound like a Steinbeck story? I'm going to back and read his version again, it's been awhile...