Sunday, February 28, 2010

10. Albert Clam

The wet sand between us began to pulsate and then to vibrate.

Something was there for sure--and that something was soon revealed to be none other than a clam, the same Albert Clam we were seeking, as I was soon to learn.

"Albert!" Starry greeted the mollusk when he had slid completely out of the wet sand. "Albert--you are just the clam we are looking for! I want you to meet my good friend Constable Crab."

"Sure, I have heard of ye, Constable." said the clam with a slight northeastern accent. "And what would you be havin' me to do, Sir?"

I went straight to the point.

"We need your special skills as an undercover agent to learn more about a dangerous person who has recently come to the coral reef--a terrible Crown of Thorns Starfish!"


Thursday, February 25, 2010

9. Tidal Mud Flats

"Albert likes to hang out up on the tidal mud flats--that's where he does most of his undercover work." Starry explained.

So we headed up that way and were soon in the shallow high tide water of the flats--it would be dry in just a few hours when the tide went down.

Starry scuttled around looking for clam signs which were practically invisible.

Finally he stopped and tapped on the mud.

"I think this is where Albert is now..." and he tapped a sort of code on the mud.

"When he is undercover he is very hard to locate--but I think this is his spot--and I have tapped our secret code knock on the mud so he will know I am here. I'll knock again."

(I noticed that their secret knock was the old "Shave and a Haircut" pattern.)


Saturday, February 20, 2010

8. A. Clam

Starry thought for a moment and then abruptly exclaimed: "YES! I DO know someone who is very good at undercover work! In fact my friend spends almost his entire life undercover! My good friend Albert Clam."

"A clam?" I questioned.

"Right! My good friend A. Clam! He is quiet, stealthy and very alert. He is our best bet for finding out all about the Crown of Thorns starfish. I am SURE of it!"

"Then," I said, "Let us go and ask this good clam if he is willing to take on what may be a very dangerous assignment."


Thursday, February 18, 2010

7. Find a Spy

"You know as well as I do, Constable , that my cousin, the Crown of Thorns Starfish, is VERY dangerous--he will destroy our coral reef if he is left alone to do his damage! Eating the tiny coral creatures who make up the coral reef is how he LIVES!" Starry lamented when we were comfortably seated on some tide pool rocks.

"I know all the facts, Starry." I said. "But as a starfish--though not a destructive one--in fact a very nice, friendly one--do you have any suggestions as to what we should do?"

"I don't know anything at all about the habits of my cousin, Constable! Up to now I hardly knew of his existence! Oh what a calamity! Why didn't he just stay put in whatever part of the ocean he came from?!"

"Then we certainly need some good intelligence!" I said. "Who do you know that is good at finding things out--at spying--to be blunt?"


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

6.What Shall We Do?

Starry Starfish was in his tide pool where I expected him to be--but he didn't seem to be his usual bright self--in fact he appeared distracted and even gloomy.

He saw me coming and waved weakly in greeting.

"Hello, Constable." he said, clearing his throat, "I think I know what brings you here this morning. Have a seat and lets talk."

This was so different from his usual bantering way, that I guessed at once that he had heard about the Crown of Thorns starfish's appearance in the coral garden.

"You are doubtless here concerning my cousin--the Crown of Thorns starfish." he said. "Bad news certainly travels fast! I am at my wit's end about this matter too!"

"You probably know, Constable, " he continued bleakly, "that my family has very little to do with the family of the Crown of Thorns. True, we are related, but that side of the family has always been in ill repute.
In fact, I had never even seen a Crown of Thorns in my entire life! I had absolutely no idea he was coming..."

"That's all right, my old friend." I immediately interjected, since I could easily see his emotion was getting the best of him. "No one is to blame for one's relations! We just have to deal with the good as well as the bad! The question is WHAT shall we DO?"


Monday, February 15, 2010

5. Find Starry

I thought the best thing I could do was to find my pal "Starry" Starfish and consult with him about what could be done.

After all he WAS a starfish--though a much more refined and polite one to be sure!

Maybe he would be able to suggest a plan to protect our reef from the predator Crown of Thorns starfish.

I hurried away from the doomed reef to look for Starry in his usual tidal pool.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

4 Alien Starfish

Of course I recognized the creature--but it was something I NEVER expected to see with my own eyes--it was an infamous CROWN OF THORNS STARFISH!

I knew that these bandit starfish were spreading through the seas--and killing the coral reefs of the world.

It was rumored that they could ride the bottoms of ships and then drop off when they were near a tasty (to them) coral reef!

But what could I do to protect our own sunny little reef--now that the enemy had landed?


Thursday, February 4, 2010

3.The Thing

Something which seemed vastly out of place in the sunny coral garden was right before my amazed eyes!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2. In the Reef

As some of you may know--my neighborhood includes some very nice coral reefs.

I always find it pleasant to meander in the sandy paths and the swirling crevasses of "my" coral reef.

I know most of the fishes, crabs, anemones and other denizens of "my" part of the reef--and that makes my occasional strolls even more pleasant since we greet each other and share the news and views, as they say.

One bright morning not so long ago I was on one of my visits when I noticed something new--new and NOT so very pleasant!