I'm hoping someone recognizes this short story I read as a boy. The story was about a robotic eyeball that rolled around on a beach until it found a hand. The two parts joined up and wiggled around until they found a leg. They joined the leg and hopped around. That is all I can remember. I would like to know the ending. Does anyone remember this short story or know where it came from?

1 Answer 1


This is the 1968 book The Iron Man by Ted Hughes.

The story starts with

a gigantic metal robot who appears out of nowhere, crashing onto the beach and shattering into many parts.

The part you've described is this:

An eye! There it was, blinking at them speechlessly beside a black and white pebble. The seeing hand fitted the eye to the blind hand and now both hands could see.

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    Huh, I didn't know The Iron Giant movie was based on a preexisting book. Neat.
    – JAB
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 16:00
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    @DavidDrysdale I read an excerpt from this in a children's anthology. Maybe you had something similar? My anthology was paperback, roughly letter-sized, ~1" thick, and part of a set of anthologies that all had names like Over The Rainbow and Beyond The Moon. (I can ask my mother for the actual titles.) They had lots of different stories and poems, all with different illustrators. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 16:24
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    Yes please, that would be nice. I have looked for this for a number of years, and am glad to finally have some mental rest. It is like putting a plug in a hole in my mind that has been leaking. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 16:39
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    @JAB It's quite different from the movie. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 17:28
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    And I came here hoping to be the first one to answer "Bionicle!" Unfortunately those stories started with Onua's hand. Seems like a reference though.
    – Benjamin
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 19:45

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