Tales for Awful People


The Little Octopus Who Loved Too Much
October 28, 2010, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Love | Tags: , ,

Deep, deep down on the ocean floor, there lives a world of creatures that you and I have never met, but a mermaid once told my grandmother, who was a fishwife, about the little octopus who loved too much, and that is how I know.

The octopus spent most of his days swimming past thickets of sea weed, playing on gentle ocean currents, cavorting with sea horses, and doing the things that would make a normal octopus happy, if that octopus had any capacity for joy.

This little octopus, though, sighed and moaned every day, because he could not find a lady octopus to be his sea-girlfriend. His friend the turtle said to him, “Come, come along with me to the shores of Bermuda, where we will visit the beaches of sparkling white sand. I need to go to the surface to feel the sun on my back and to feel the dry land under my flippers once more.”

“Oh, I don’t think so,” said the little octopus. “This is a mating trip, am I right? I would feel like a third wheel.”

“A what?” asked the turtle.

“Never mind,” said the little octopus. “I’ll just stay here and brood.”

“Suit yourself,” said the turtle, and he swam away in the general direction of Bermuda.

“I never get to have any fun,” said the little octopus. No sooner had he spoken, then along came the manta ray. She glided up to him on her shimmering silver-black wings, and waved her sharp tail in the dappled shadows.

“Why so glum, Octopus?” she asked. “I never get to go anywhere or do anything, and I don’t have a sea-girlfriend,” he sighed.

“Oh,” said the manta ray, “Wow. Well. I guess I may some other animals who are having a party this weekend, if you would want to go to that. I mean, I’m not sure it’s your crowd but–”

“Do you think I’d fit in?” asked the octopus. “I get really nervous at parties. I should probably go on sea-medication, but that just seems weird, and I don’t know–”

“Suit yourself,” said the manta ray, and she flapped away in the water on her graceful leathery wings.

The octopus glumly began to swim home, when he saw something that made him wrap a tentacle around a sturdy stalk of kelp and stay stock-still in the water. On the other side of a trench in the ocean floor, was a lady octopus who was by far the more beautiful than anyone the little octopus had ever seen. “Should I talk to her?” he asked himself. “What would I say? What if I asked her out? Where would we go?”

He stayed there, wrapped around the kelp stalk, til he felt sick and his tentacle was sore, and decided that he would have to go home.

Later, he placed a “missed connections” personal ad, but she never answered.