Eight-Legged Exploration

I tiptoed over the smooth, gleaming rocks. Trampled over velvety sand, and bounded over mangled, knobby driftwood, in search of fishing hooks or wire. My family roamed and meandered with me, chattering as they went, over the pebbles that made up the tranquil Grecian beach. Salty waves lapped at the sandy shore, and sea spray lingered in the air, so I slowed for a moment to watch the serene, glassy, tac-i-turn water.

Another family arrived soon enough, our friends that had invited us octopi wrangling. Recognizing we lacked supplies, we had been combing the summer shoreline for stray hooks or clear fishing wire. In despair, I shrugged my shoulders and nonchalantly waited about as the midsummer breeze ruffled my hair. What surprised me was when they replied, “No need for equipment, our hands are all that is necessary.” I could only wonder what they meant.

Minutes later, everyone was peering into the deep aqua water. We were all eager to catch a glimpse of an octopus desperately clinging to a stone, only to be seized right out of the ocean. Octopi change color to camouflage with their bleak stone surroundings, so we gazed incredibly close to recognize one, if luck was in our favor.

“Look, look!” I bellowed excitedly. I distinguished a figure under the flawlessly clear sea. Abruptly, someone waded into the water and fearlessly plucked it right of the coral, as easy as if they had just been gathering sea shells on this very beach. Sure enough, a miniature octopus was dangling from a grasping hand.

This beautiful marine creature, the common octopus, seemed so desperate and misplaced out of the ocean. The flailing, curling arms reminded me of a helpless child, and I knew I did not have it in me to kill it myself. To my extreme relief, this one was too small to cook, and its life was spared with a swift splash as it was tossed carelessly back into the gentle sea. My body relaxed and a deep sigh escaped me, a life had been saved.

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