Ocean Bestiary

Tag: coral reef

Rainbow birth

She was a clone. Not unique, not original, unable to make a difference. Inside her… it was growing. The precious cargo released only once every year, at the same hour, on the same night. This time, she wanted to be creative. Disruptive. Revolutionary.

Searching for inspiration, she remembered the beauty she saw every night, after waking up. The flashing colors passing by her. Colors attached to creatures unknown.

When crafting her bundle, she thought: “I’ll pick one color, and I’ll make it mine”

But her thoughts were not private. She was connected to the other clones by the lifeline, so her thirst for change spread through the communal hive-like entity.

“Pick one color” said the hive mind “and make it yours”

At the same moon time, the entire coral reef spawned. In a sea of pink eggs, the clones of the fashion-conscious coral colony sent their little bundles of hope out into the wild: A swarm of aquamarines, fuchsias, tangerines, lavenders, indigos, neon yellows and electric greens. The spawn predators, startled by the rainbow birth, ignored the fashionista eggs, and ate the traditional colors.

Imagined rainbow coral spawn. Normal and iridescent oil pastels. Credit: Sarah Frias-Torres

Imagined rainbow coral spawn. Normal and iridescent oil pastels. Credit: Sarah Frias-Torres

Love Nest

He was in love.

She was coming to dinner tonight. He had rehearsed many times his proposal, a promise of love and a shared life. She arrived late: A wave of perfume capable of melting his heart.

They spoke of everything and nothing to break the ice during dinner. Afterwards, with a full belly, they moved into the serious business of love. He looked into her blue-violet eyes and felt his courage disappear. She was so beautiful, and he had so little.

In a whisper, he spoke his proposal:

“I don’t have much. But what is mine is yours. Stay here with me. Have our children. I will love you forever”

She listened to the same promises others have made before. When in love, they always say the same, she thought.  But this one was sincere.

“Yes”- she said-“I will love you forever. We’ll have children. But I don’t want to spend my days living inside the rectum of a sea cucumber. We should move to the new high rise condos at the reef crest.”

So he learned the hard way that the male proposes, and the female disposes the fancy headquarters where the proposal is consummated.

The newlyweds left the safety of the humble sea cucumber’s ass, and swam all the way to the promised luxury.

The pearlfishes never saw the moray eel ambushing their progress until it was too late to escape.

Pearlfish hiding in a sea cucumber. Iridescent oil pastels. Credit: Sarah Frias-torres

Pearlfish hiding in a sea cucumber. Iridescent oil pastels. Credit: Sarah Frias-Torres

Self Help Workshop

A brand new camera lens fell from a dive boat and sank into the ocean. It came to rest twenty meters down by a coral reef. The octopus was the first creature to find the lens. With her superior intelligence, she saw a market opportunity. So she took the lens and left it at the entrance of her den, with a tentacle-written sign.

The reef animals had never seen anything like it before. By bending the light, the lens became a funhouse mirror exaggerating the reflected image of unsuspecting bystanders. The pufferfish looked too fat. The trumpetfish too skinny. The clownfish looked too colorful, the pigmy seahorse too small, the green moray eel too green. The fish were devastated believing a funhouse mirror reflected the truth.

The sign next to the lens said in big bold letters: SELF HELP WORKSHOP. One by one, the unhappy fish entered the den in search of help.

The octopus never went hungry again.

Octopus and lens. Watercolor and ink on paper. Credit: Sarah Frias-Torres

Octopus and lens. Watercolor and ink on paper. Credit: Sarah Frias-Torres